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Putin Associate Timchenko Awarded France’s Legion of Honor

Gennady Timchenko, a Russian billionaire ally of President Vladimir Putin, has been awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his contribution to ties between the two countries.

Timchenko, 60, co-founder of the Gunvor Group Ltd. oil trader, helped to reach an agreement on the creation of a permanent exhibition of Russian art at the Louvre museum in Paris, the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on its website today. The award hasn’t yet been presented, Timchenko’s spokesman, Alexei Firsov, said by phone.

Russian billionaire and New Jersey Nets basketball club owner Mikhail Prokhorov received the Legion of Honor in 2011, four years after being detained in France on suspicion of what authorities called “pimping.” He was released without charge.

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