The current President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis: biography, family, career
Representatives of the opposition are constantly accused of the “Russian accent” by the current president of Latvia. He himself, to the best of his ability, is trying to smooth over the contradictions that divide the two main national communities in the country. Raimonds Vejonis, elected president of the third of June 2015, promised to develop a dialogue with the Russian-speaking part of the population of Latvia. After all, a quarter of the inhabitants are Russian by nationality, many of whom have the status of “non-citizens”, although they were born on the territory of the republic and have continuously lived in Latvia for at least ten years. So, what is the current president of Latvia?
The future biologist, who at the same time turned out to be incredibly politically tenacious - sitting in a ministerial chair, R. Vejonis replaced him (not counting the brief interruption in political activity) only thirteen years later, and even then presidential - was born on June 15, 1965 in Russia.The son of Tatiana Vejone and Gunars Vejonis (Raimonds’s mother is Russian, the father is Latvian) was born in the village of Nikonovo in the Pskov Region, although he was to be born in Latvia. The fact is that the father of the future politician served near Pskov, and the mother, who would later no longer be able to visit her husband because of the birth of a child, decided to go to his RSFSR. True, all calculations were wasted, and the mother of Raimonds Vejonis was already returning to Latvia with her child in her arms. The future president of Latvia was educated in the Sarkany Parish of the Madona District.
Education "atypical" president
After graduating from Madona High School No. 1, Raimonds Vejonis entered the Faculty of Biology at the University of Latvia. The young man became interested in biology at school when the teacher invited him to participate in the Olympiad. In 1989, a young man received an education that enabled him to become a biologist and engage in scientific activities or go to work as a teacher of biology and chemistry. The theme of the thesis of Raimonds was the protection of flora in Madona district.
Raimonds Vejonis continued his education in 1993. The young man applied for a master’s degree as a student at the Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering at the University of Technology Tampere. In 1995Raimonds Vejonis defended his master's thesis on the “Management Plan of Lake Kanepian”.
The fate of the future politician’s grandfather contributed to the emergence of interest in environmental protection, ecology and water management in particular. He still lost his sight in the prime of his life due to the chemicals used to process the fields. The grandfather of Raimonds Vejonis worked as a tractor driver on the Soviet collective farm "Stars". In addition, the land near the house where the boy spent most of his childhood was drained during the creation of collective farms, which changed the familiar and pleasant environment.
The future president of Latvia began to work in his specialty while he was studying at the university. R.Veonis began his professional career in his own Madona secondary school. True, he worked as a teacher for a future politician not for long - after graduating and receiving a master's degree in biology, he was invited to work for the benefit of the institute.
Work in environmental management
Upon graduation, the future president of Latvia became the deputy director of the regional environmental management in his hometown.Then he began his political activity - from 1990 to 1993. Raimonds Vejonis was a member of the city council. During the “third awakening” - a series of peaceful protests that were held with the aim of restoring the statehood of the Baltic countries - a deputy with a higher biological education was involved in measures to protect the environment. Later Raimonds Vejonis joined the Green Party of Latvia.
In 1996, the politician became director of the Big Riga environment department. The association has just been created on the basis of the former administrations of Riga and Ogre, so the range of powers and obligations of the department has expanded. Now the administration was also engaged in territorial planning, as well as solving environmental problems and managing the Daugava River basin.
Then Raimonds Vejonis noted that he plans to introduce more stringent requirements for environmental inspectors. In addition, under his authority, authorized subordinates were to become more principled in relation to those who destroy or pollute nature.
Minister of the Environment
In 2002, the future president of Latvia,whose biography has already been closely associated with political activities, continued his career as Minister of Environment. In this post, R. Vejonis did a great job in streamlining the national policy in the field of ecology and environmental protection.
Under the supervision of Raimonds Vejonis, the creation and discovery of specially protected natural territories was implemented (the Natura 2000 project). The minister was a supporter of the Bolshaya Toloka project (big Saturday work, spring cleaning, during which those who want to repair benches and playgrounds, scavenge, plant trees and organize flower beds).
In office, R. Vejonis worked on the law on genetically modified agricultural products. He provided local governments with the opportunity to ban farmers in their administrative unit from growing genetically modified crops.
Position in the Ministry of Defense
The political career of Raimonds Veyonis made a sharp turn in 2014, when he took the chair of the Minister of Defense. The appointment of a biologist for such a post was not a surprise for Latvia - one of Vejonis’s predecessors in the position of Minister of Defense was a veterinarian.
One of the priorities of Raimonds Vejonis highlighted the strengthening of Latvia’s defense in cooperation with NATO. Under his leadership, the following results were achieved:
- continuation of the long-term development plan;
- confirmation of the plan to increase the defense budget to two percent of GDP;
- development of practical measures to ensure the ability of Latvia to effective self-defense.
The Minister of Defense participated in the Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region, and, in general, actively participated in foreign policy and national development. Raimonds Vejonis was re-elected minister from the ninth to the eleventh convocation of the Seimas of Latvia.
Presidency of Raimonds Vejonis
Today Latvia (presidential elections were held in 2015) is officially ruled by Raimonds Vejonis. As priorities for the presidency, the politician highlighted the provision of national security and peaceful coexistence of all national groups living in the territory of Latvia. In addition, the president promised to take up social stability, support for entrepreneurship, and solve demographic problems.
Personal life and hobby
Raimonds Vejonis is married and has two children. The wife of the President of Latvia, Iveta Vejone, as the first lady of the state, deals with social policy. For example, she urges to take care that all orphans have foster parents by the celebration of the centenary of the state.
The residence of the President of Latvia, where he and his family can live, occupying a high public office, attracts tourists and ordinary passersby who can admire the castle only from the outside. In addition, the family has a private house in the countryside. Also, Raimonds Veyonis at the time when he first took the ministerial seat belonged to an apartment in Ogre and land in the Aron parish.
The President is interested in sports. Among his last preferences is basketball. He also dives and volleyball, actively travels with his wife and enjoys gardening.