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Decorations were awarded to 46 people, including representatives of the emergency situation and rescue services of 15 countries that came to Russia’s aid during the wildfires caused by this summer’s heat wave.

Those decorated included fire-fighting and rescue personnel from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, and Turkey.

In his remarks at the ceremony, the President said that Russia is always ready to help these countries in its turn if need be.

Mr Medvedev said that efforts must be made now to minimise the consequences of future natural disasters and carry out systemic work to get the country better prepared for such events. The President said he has given the instruction to purchase new fire-fighting equipment, planes and other types of equipment. This is not the only thing that must be done, but it is an essential and important step, Mr Medvedev said. It is important now to work on fire prevention, take preventive measures, address environmental issues, and raise people’s environmental awareness.

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