Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was on Wednesday conferred Russia's highest civilian award for foreign nationals, "Order of Friendship", for his championing role in fostering ties between the two countries.
Joshi was bestowed the award by visiting Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry O Rogozin at a function at the Russian embassy in New Delhi.
"In the brilliant constellation of distinguished Indian politicians and statesmen, MM Joshi for decades has been enjoying high esteem and incontestable authority as a champion of deeper Russian-Indian ties," Rogozin said.
"As a Cabinet minister, Joshi initiated and supervised a number of bilateral programmes and projects of scientific and technological cooperation, joint research and publishing activities, seminars conferences and exchanges of delegations," he said.
The senior BJP leader has consistently advocated the steady buildup of Russian-Indian special and privileged strategic partnership, he said.
"He has been a champion of the core principles of India's foreign policy- time tested and deep-rooted tradition of amity between our two countries," the visiting leader said.
Joshi, after receiving the honour said that Indo-Russian strategic partnership was "unique, multi-dimensional and built brick by brick".
"We have made diverse inroads apart from the fields of defence, space and nuclear energy. The Integrated Long term Programme (ILTP) has been biggest scientific cooperation India has ever entered with any country," the senior BJP leader said.