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Putin Gives Lavrov a Medal on His Birthday

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

President Vladimir Putin on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's birthday issued a decree giving him a medal for outstanding achievements in foreign policy.

The medal is an order for service to the fatherland, awarded in part for Lavrov's many years of service as a diplomat, according to a copy of the decree posted on the state legal information website.

Lavrov, Russia's top diplomat, turned 65 years old on Saturday. He has been foreign minister for more than a decade.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, also awarded Lavrov one of the Church's highest honors, the order of Sergius of Radonezh, state news agency TASS reported Monday.

"I know you as a man with strict moral principles, an active patriot who remains faithful to his duty," the patriarch was quoted as saying.

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