|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
25 October 2011
Arturs Kri?j?nis Kari
|?irts Valdis Kristovskis|
|Born||21 September 1973|
J?rmala, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Latvian Way (Before 2004)|
Reform Party (2012-2014)
|Alma mater||University of Latvia|
University of Groningen
Rink?vi?s was educated at high school in J?rmala, before completing a bachelor's degree at the University of Latvia in History and Philosophy (1995). He then received a master's degree in political science in 1997, followed by another master's degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
In 1993, Rink?vi?s started work as a journalist reporting on foreign policy and international relations at Latvian Radio. In 1995 he took up a post at the Ministry of Defence, becoming the Director of his internal department the following year. In May 1997 he became Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy, and then subsequently the Secretary of State.
Between 1998 and 2004, Rink?vi?s was a member of the "Latvian Way" political party. In February 1998, he became involved with discussion on the US-Baltic Partnership Charter; and from 2002 to 2003 was a member of the Latvian delegation negotiating accession to NATO (Deputy Head of Delegation). By 2011, he was appointed as Head of Chancery to the President of Latvia. In October of the same year, Rink?vi?s joined Valdis Dombrovskis' government as Minister for Foreign Affairs. In January 2012, his party formally entered into a governing alliance with the Zatlers' Reform Party. In 2014 he stood in parliamentary elections, and was elected to parliament; again serving as Foreign Minister in Laimdota Straujuma's second government.
On November 6, 2014, he publicly announced on his Twitter profile that he is gay. This made him the first lawmaker in Latvia to announce he is gay, as well as the most prominent openly gay politician in a former Soviet Bloc state at the time.
Rink?vi?s 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.
?irts Valdis Kristovskis
| Minister of Foreign Affairs
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