On 20 October 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was awarded the Order of St. Savva, 1st class, by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia.

The highest award of the Serbian Church was conferred on President Medvedev “for his contribution to the unity of the world Orthodoxy and his love to the Serbian people.’

The ceremony of awarding that took place at the premises of the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade was attended by the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Belgrade clergymen, ministers of foreign affairs and ministers of religious affairs, and renowned public and political leaders.

Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands who chairs the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church said in his speech that the Local Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches have been the foundation of the unity between the people of our countries.

President Medvedev said that he was happy to be awarded by the Serbian Orthodox Church and underscored the importance of relations between the two fraternal nations and Churches.

The highest award of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Order of St. Savva, was instituted in honour of St. Savva (1169-1236), the first Primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II was awarded the Order of St. Savva, 1st class, in 1994; Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov – in 2004.