International law researcher and Tallinn University (TLÜ) professor emeritus Rein Müllerson has been awarded the Order of Friendship by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The announcement was published on the Kremlin's official homepage on Monday.
Russia awards the Order of Friendship, which existed under the name Order of Friendship of People's during the Soviet era, for "special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations."
Müllerson has published numerous works in the field of international law. From 1999-2009, he worked as a professor at the King's College London of the University of London. Some of his positions have earned criticism for allegedly justifying Russia's aggressive foreign policy.
In 2000, President Lennart Meri wished to nominate Müllerson for the position of chancellor of justice, but he did not receive the support of parliamentary parties at the time. Some publications also speculated regarding the latter's connections to repressive organs of the Soviet Union.
Müllerson rejected these claims, however, saying, "I am ignoring these paranoid beliefs that have appeared in the papers claiming that this is a KGB agent or something even bigger than that. For some, these problems are medical, not political, in nature."
From 1991-1992, Müllerson served as deputy foreign mnister in Edgar Savisaar's transitional government. Since 2003, Müllerson has been a member of the Centre Party.
Editor: Aili Vahtla