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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a posthumous Order of Honour to Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of France's Total oil company, killed when a business jet collided with a snow plough during takeoff at Moscow airport in October.
The order was granted for de Margerie's "major contribution to Russian-French economic and cultural relations", the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.
De Margerie was a strong opponent of Western economic sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, while his good relationship with political leaders was considered one of the main strengths of the charismatic and outspoken manager.
Putin had a close working relationship with de Margerie, his spokesman said sending the president's condolences on Oct. 21.
After the tragedy, Total, the world's fourth largest oil company, appointed refining boss Patrick Pouyanne as the new chief executive.
Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Elizabeth Piper and Stephen Powell