President Barack Obama has been named one of Russia’s top gay rights heroes by The Moscow Times.

The US leader was placed at number five in the paper’s “5 Heroes of Russia’s Gay Rights Movement” photo gallery.

Moscow based LGBT campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev topped the list. Campaigners Dmitry Isakov, Igor Kochetkov and Anna Anisimova were ahead of President Obama.

Mentioning PinkNews.co.uk in its write-up of Mr Obama, The Moscow Times said: “American authorities have long raised questions about human rights and LGBT issues in Russia, and Obama sent a clear signal during his visit to St Petersburg for the G20 summit, where he organised a meeting with human rights and LGBT activists amid a busy schedule and ongoing negotiations regarding the conflict in Syria.

“The meeting was attended by investigative journalist Yelena Milashina, lawyer Ivan Pavlov of human rights organisation Memorial, and human rights activist Boris Pynstintsev, among others. Originally scheduled for 40 minutes, his meeting eventually lasted for 90 minutes, reported PinkNews.”

Earlier this month President Obama met with nine LGBT activists during his trip to St Petersburg for the G20 summit. He was so “energised intellectually and inspired” by their talks, the meeting lasted twice as long as expected.

Last month, in an interview with Jay Leno on NBC’s Tonight Show, President Obama was asked about the implementation of homophobic censorship laws in Russia.

The president replied saying he had “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

Russia has said it will enforce the legislation when it hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.