Edgars Rinkēvičs

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Edgars Rinkēvičs
Rinkēvičs in 2023
11th President of Latvia
Assumed office
8 July 2023
Prime MinisterKrišjānis Kariņš
Evika Siliņa
Preceded byEgils Levits
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
25 October 2011 – 8 July 2023
Prime MinisterValdis Dombrovskis
Laimdota Straujuma
Māris Kučinskis
Krišjānis Kariņš
Preceded byĢirts Valdis Kristovskis
Succeeded byKrišjānis Kariņš
President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
In office
17 May 2023 – 8 July 2023
Preceded byÞórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir
Succeeded byKrišjānis Kariņš
Personal details
Born (1973-09-21) 21 September 1973 (age 50)
Jūrmala, Latvia
Political partyLatvian Way (1998–2004)
Reform Party (2012–2014)
Unity (2014–2023)
Alma materUniversity of Latvia
Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy

Edgars Rinkēvičs (born 21 September 1973) is a Latvian public official and politician serving as the 11th and current president of Latvia since July 2023. He previously served as the minister of foreign affairs of Latvia from 2011 to 2023, and head of the Chancery of the President of Latvia as state secretary of the Ministry of Defence, as well as a deputy of the Saeima.

Upon taking office as president, Rinkēvičs became the first openly gay head of state in a European Union country.[1] Prior to becoming president, Rinkēvičs had represented Latvian Way, Reform Party, and the Unity party since May 2014. He left Unity after being elected president as it is customarily expected in Latvia for presidents to maintain political neutrality.

Early life and education[edit]

Rinkēvičs was born in Jūrmala, where he completed high school in 1991.[2] Upon graduating from high school, he started a bachelor's degree at the University of Latvia's Faculty of History and Philosophy, which he acquired in 1995. During the same time, in 1994 and 1995 he studied Political Science and International Relations at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, for which he received a certificate in 1995.[3] In 1997, he obtained his master's degree in political science, followed by a second master's degree from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy,[a] obtained in 2000.[2][4]


In 1993 and 1994, Rinkēvičs worked as a journalist reporting on foreign policy and international relations at Latvian Radio, while still studying.[6] In 1995, he took the job as senior referent in the Policy Department of the Ministry of Defence, a role he held until March 1996, when he became acting leader of the Policy Department, a role he occupied until September the same year, when he was made acting Deputy Secretary of State for Defence.[7] In May 1997, he became acting Secretary of State for Defence, before becoming the main Secretary of State for Defence in August 1997, a role he possessed until October 2008.[7]

Rinkēvičs with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi, 2 July 2021

Between 1998 and 2004, Rinkēvičs was a member of the Latvian Way party.[7] In February 1998, he became involved in discussion on the US-Baltic Partnership Charter, and from 2002 to 2003 was a member of the Latvian delegation negotiating accession to NATO as Latvia's Deputy Head of Delegation. In 2008, he was appointed as Head of the Chancery of the President of Latvia, a role he held until July 2011.[7] In October of the same year, Rinkēvičs joined Valdis Dombrovskis' third cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Initially an independent, he joined the Zatlers' Reform Party in January 2012.[8] In May 2014, Rinkēvičs joined the Unity party.[9]

Rinkēvičs with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 7 March 2022

Following the resignation of the Dombrovskis cabinet in 2014, he continued his ministerial roles in Laimdota Straujuma's first cabinet. In 2014 he stood in the parliamentary elections and was elected to parliament before again being confirmed to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs, this time in Straujuma's second cabinet.[6] He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2016 to 2019 in the Kučinskis cabinet and from 2019 to 2023 in the Kariņš cabinet.

He was elected president of Latvia on 31 May 2023.[10] He took office on 8 July 2023.[11]

Political positions[edit]

Rinkēvičs said he welcomed the news about the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.[12]

Rinkēvičs expressed deep concern over the escalation of hostilities in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately halt fighting and progress towards a peaceful resolution.[13]

Personal life[edit]

On 6 November 2014, he publicly announced on his Twitter profile that he is gay,[14][15] making him the first lawmaker in Latvia to announce his homosexuality, as well as the first openly gay head of state in an EU country and the first ever openly gay president of any state.[16][1] In addition to Latvian, he is fluent in English, Russian, and French.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sources ([2][3][4]) state Rinkēvičs studied at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the US National Defence University as this was the name of the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at that time. The name was changed to its current form in 2012.[5]


  1. ^ a b "EU's First Openly Gay Head of State Elected by Latvian Assembly". Bloomberg.com. 31 May 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Barkāns, Elmārs (13 October 2008). "Pilī jaunas asinis – Edgars Rinkēvičs" (in Latvian). TV NET. Archived from the original on 2 March 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Par uzticības izteikšanu Ministru kabinetam" (PDF) (in Latvian). Saeima. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Minister for Foreign Affairs – Edgars Rinkēvičs". Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  5. ^ Mission, The Eisenhower School, National Defense University, United States Department of Defense, Fort McNair, Washington, District of Columbia, accessed 6 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b Kroet, Cynthia (18 December 2014). "Edgars Rinkēvičs: Latvia's foreign minister". POLITICO Europe. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d "Ārlietu ministra amata kandidāta Edgara Rinkēviča biogrāfija". LETA (in Latvian). TV NET. 24 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Ārlietu ministrs Rinkēvičs iestājas ZRP" (in Latvian). Delfi. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Astoņi RP politiķi iestājas "Vienotībā" (papild.)" (in Latvian). ir. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Edgars Rinkevics elected president of Latvia". Reuters. 31 May 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2023.
  11. ^ "President Edgars Rinkēvičs takes oath of office". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 8 July 2023. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  12. ^ Rinkēvičs, Edgars [@edgarsrinkevics] (12 September 2020). "I welcome the news about the establishment of full diplomatic relations between #Israel and #Bahrain, it will foster peace and stability in the region. I applaud the role of the United States for efforts to facilitate the normalisation of Israel-Bahrain relations" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Lithuanian, Latvian FMs concerned over Armenia's large-scale provocation against Azerbaijan". Trend News Agency. 27 September 2020. Archived from the original on 29 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Foreign Minister 'Proud to be gay'". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Latvia's foreign minister comes out as gay". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 7 November 2014. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  16. ^ Potts, Andrew (7 November 2014). "Latvia's Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics has come out as gay on Twitter". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  17. ^ "President of the Republic of Estonia". president.ee. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  18. ^ "President of the Republic of Estonia". president.ee. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  19. ^ "President of the Republic of Estonia". president.ee. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  20. ^ Quirinale website
  21. ^ Quirinale website
  22. ^ "List of recipients of Norwegian honours". Royal Court of Norway. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  23. ^ "Rinkevics receives Ukrainian award". 29 September 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Latvia