Russia's Putin awards medals to buyers of Rosneft stake

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded state medals to executives with the Qatari investment fund, Swiss-based commodities trading firm Glencore and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, according to a decree published on Monday.

The Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore bought a 19.5 stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft for more than 10 billion euros in December, and Intesa bank was involved in organizing the deal.

The executives were awarded the medals for their “contribution to strengthening cooperation with Russia,” according to the text of the decree.

The Rosneft stake sale was the biggest privatization deal in Russia since the 1990s. But a range of offshore companies was used in the transaction, the full identities of the stake’s beneficial owners remain unknown, and the source of 2.2 billion euros in funding for the deal is unclear.

Putin awarded QIA’s Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg and Intesa’s Carlo Messina with Orders of Friendship and gave the Order of Honour to Antonio Fallico, the head of Intesa’s Russian unit.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Christian Lowe