The President awarded Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Irina Antonova one of the most prestigious state awards, the award For Services to the Fatherland First Degree. Vladimir Putin the award For Services to the Fatherland Second Degree to Artistic Director of the Taganka Drama and Comedy Theatre in Moscow Yuri Liubimov, to film directors Vladimir Naumov and Sergei Kolosov, as well as to theatre director Petr Fomenko.
As he welcomed the award winners, Vladimir Putin described 2007 as a successful, dynamic and decisive year for Russia's long-term recovery.
The President noted that 2007 was important for Russian language and Russian culture. In light of the increasing economic potential of Russia's national culture, Vladimir Putin called on attendees to do everything possible so that Russian culture numbers among the world's best-known names, and that Russian language is increasingly used for interethnic and international communication.