Trading honors and awards is a popular ego-boosting sport among the post-Soviet elites. Sometimes it’s grandiose, as in Azarov’s case. Other times it’s gross, as in Potebenko’s case.
For distinguished contribution to the development of trade and economic relations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, for strengthening friendship and cooperation between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, may the ORDER OF FRIENDSHIP be granted to AZAROV Nikolai Yanovich, First Vice-Premier and Finance Minister of Ukraine.
President of the Russian Federation, V. Putin
December 6, 2007