Putin presents De la Torre with the Pushkin medal in 2018.

Mayor of Malaga asked to "reflect" on whether he should return the medal Putin awarded him

Francisco de la Torre received the Pushkin medal in 2018 from Russian President Vladimir Putin

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

The president of the Andalusian Government, Juanma Moreno, has said this Thursday, 3 August, that he would "ask" the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, to "reflect" on the possibility of returning the Pushkin medal, a state award given on the occasion of the Day of Popular Unity of the Russian Federation, and which the city council head received in 2018 from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking to Onda Cero, the president of the Junta said that, in the current context marked by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the photograph of the award of the medal to the mayor of Malaga is “tremendously uncomfortable", because in it appears "the person most responsible for the barbarism" that, in his opinion, is currently being committed in Ukraine.

Moreno added that the option of returning the medal "is a personal decision for the mayor", but stated, “It is true that it is a mere symbol, but the symbols and gestures also add up in this fight to isolate Putin and try to make him see reason so that he stops the attack.”

The head of the Junta has said that "a distinction should be made between Russia and the Russians and their government and Putin", because "they have nothing to do with each other". Moreno commented that he knows "of the Russian communities who live here (in Andalucía) who live peacefully with Ukrainians, especially on the Costa del Sol", adding that in recent days he has had "the opportunity to chat with them" and verify that "they are clearly against something that seems irrational and insane.”

“They consider Ukraine a friendly nation and that this war does not make any sense in humanitarian, political or economic terms”, Moreno said.