Rinkēvičs was on a list of "diplomats, journalists, entrepreneurs, former and current foreign ministers and public figures who have made notable contributions to securing Estonia’s independence and advancing Estonia’s interests internationally."
“I am very happy to award the Order of Merit to people who have been committed to advancing the Estonian cause at home or abroad, as well as to our important partners worldwide,” Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.
“I am proud that Estonia has so many friends we can count on. These are the people who help make Estonia greater and stronger,” the Foreign Minister added.
Other familiar names on the list included Belarusian opposition leader and president-elect Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, British journalist Edward Lucas and recently-departed US Secretary of State Michael Richard Pompeo.
The award itself takes the form of a rather impressive-looking medal, according to an image tweeted by the Estonian embassy in Latvia.
🇱🇻 Novērtējot lielisko #Igaunijas un #Latvijas sadarbību, Igaunijas ārlietu ministrs @UrmasReinsalu ir piešķīris Igaunijas Republikas Ārlietu ministrijas Nopelnu krustu #Latvijas ārlietu ministram Edgaram Rinkēvičam.@Arlietas @edgarsrinkevics @MFAestonia pic.twitter.com/epjL6ibLat— EstEmbassyLV (@EstoniaInLV) January 22, 2021