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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawson Gets Kremlin Award

Eugene Lawson, president of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, received an award from President Vladimir Putin for his efforts in promoting economic ties between Russia and the United States, the Kremlin said Tuesday in a decree posted on its web site.

Putin bestowed a similar award, the Order of Friendship, on Greek Development Minister Demetris Sioufas after the country agreed to provide transit to Russian oil and gas earlier this year.

The award to Lawson, who is currently touring the United States to promote business ties with Russia, comes in recognition of his "major contribution to the development of economic ties" between the countries, Putin said in the decree.

In his five-day tour, which started Monday, Lawson will discuss business opportunities in Russia and lobby for support of the country's bid to join the World Trade Organization in meetings with business leaders and officials. He is traveling with Mikhail Margelov, a close adviser to Putin and the chairman of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee.

The Kremlin's award to Sioufas was in recognition of his role in building bilateral energy ties, Putin said in a separate decree. Last month Greece agreed to take part in the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe that will run under the Black Sea. Earlier this year, Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed a deal to build an oil pipeline.