Singapore''s former ambassador to Russia has been awarded the prestigious Pushkin medal as decreed by the Russian President. Mr Michael Tay is the first Singaporean to be given the award.
Mr Tay was honoured for his contributions towards developing cultural and humanitarian ties between Russia and Singapore, during his time as ambassador.The cultural exchange started in 2005 - when Mr Tay commissioned a famous Russian composer to write a full symphony concerto, dedicated to Singapore.
Mr Tay is currently the Executive Director of the Russia-Singapore Business Forum.
The Pushkin medal was established in 1999 to mark the 200th birthday of the famous Russian writer and poet, Alexander Pushkin. It is given every year to renowned personalities who have contributed to the preservation and growth of Russia''s cultural and humanitarian heritage.
Mr Tay said: "It means a lot to me because it is something I didn''t expect. When I started my work with Russia, it was just to do something good for Russia and Singapore. So the medal is more important to me because it is more about Singapore than about me."
Andrey N Rozhkov, the Russian Ambassador to Singapore, said: "Michael Tay is a very creative and dynamic person. He really contributed a lot to development of the relation between our two countries."