France bestows uncommon honor on Russian wealth fund chief amid wider sanctions

France has bestowed one of its highest honors on Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, for his contribution to strengthening cooperation between Russia and France.

Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that has $10 billion of reserved capital under management, was awarded the title of the “Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor,” by French President Emmanuel Macron, RDIF announced Friday.

The Order of the Legion of Honor (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) is the oldest French national order, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. Belonging to the Order is the highest distinction and honor in France; it is awarded by the president for outstanding service.

The award comes after several years of joint investment projects between France and Russia since 2013 with RDIF promoting the development of French companies in Russia and the entry of Russian companies into the French market.

“I am grateful to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, for his recognition and such a high appreciation of RDIF’s contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between Russia and France,” Dmitriev said in a statement from RDIF.

“This award is a reflection of the progress we have achieved through investment cooperation in recent years, as well as an incentive for further proactive work.”

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