The award was presented for the fruitful development of relations between government and church in contemporary Russia and the improvement of interfaith dialogue.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dmitry Medvedev said that the monetary component of the prize would be transferred to the charity fund for the restoration of the New Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery and a number of boarding schools.
The 2009 prize winners were Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, film director Emir Kusturica (Serbia), and St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (New York, USA).
The award for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples is being presented for the tenth time. Since 2009 it bears the name of Patriarch Alexei II (1929–2008) who initiated its creation.
Before the ceremony Dmitry Medvedev, Karekin II and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia had a brief conversation.