Russian Patriarch Bestows Order on Tallinn's Mayor ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has given Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar an order of merit.

Savisaar received the recognition for the construction of a new church in Lasnamäe, a district in Tallinn with a large Russian-speaking population, reported uudised.err.ee.

Russian classical conductor Valery Gergiev also received the same order today.

Savisaar will return from a two-day visit to Moscow this evening.

The Russian patriarch made a three-day visit to Estonia in June to attend the consecration of the Lasnamäe Orthodox Church. It was an important event for followers of the Orthodox faith, reportedly even drawing pilgrims from abroad.

Polling experts have attributed Savisaar's political popularity to his outreach to Estonia's Russian voters, including, most recently, in the form of building the Orthodox church and organizing the patriarch's visit.

Receiving the order from the Russian patriarch could serve to further bolster that relationship ahead of municipal elections, set to take place on October 20.