New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been honoured with Russia’s highest state decoration, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle, for his role in promoting close ties between the two countries.The award comes days after the United Arab Emirates announced conferring Modi with ‘The Order of Zayed’. The Russian government said Modi is given the highest state decoration of Russia for “exceptional services” in promoting special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India and friendly relations between the Russian and Indian peoples. A Russian official said the ‘Order of St Andrew the Apostle’ is awarded to prominent statesmen, public figures and those working in the fields of science, culture and arts in recognition of their exceptional services in promoting prosperity and glory of Russia. The order can also be awarded to foreign heads of state for outstanding services. The Order of St Andrew the Apostle is the highest order of the Russian Federation. The foreign awardees of the award included President of China Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Geydar Aliev. The award ceremony is usually held at the St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. The Order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia, said the official.