President of Latvia
H.E. Raimonds Vējonis became the President of Latvia on 8 July 2015. Previously he had been the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and a member of the Latvian Parliament (Saeima).
At the beginning of his term of office President Vējonis made clear that national security would be among his top priorities. This would mean strengthening Latvia’s self-defence capability, improving collective defence as a member of the NATO Alliance and developing national resilience against modern, hybrid threats.
As Minister of Defence (02.2014. – 07.07.2015.) he had already laid the foundations for this work. During this period, he guided through Cabinet the decision to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2018. He oversaw the implementation of the mechanisation project for the regular army and the prioritisation of resources to the National Guard (Zemessardze). In addition he supported and encouraged the early development of the STRATCOM COE, appointing his State Secretary, Jānis Sārts, as its Director. Following the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit, he welcomed the Canadian-led eFP Battlegroup to Latvia in 2017.
Born in 1966 in the Pskov region of Russia, President Vējonis is a biologist and teacher by profession. During his political career he was elected three times to the Latvian Parliament as a member of the Green Party.