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Marina Kaljurand
Estonian politician and badminton player

Marina Kaljurand

Marina Kaljurand
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Estonian politician and badminton player
Is Athlete Badminton player Diplomat Politician Lawyer
From Estonia Russia
Field Law Politics Sports
Gender female
Birth 6 September 1962, Tallinn, Harju County, Estonia
Age 59 years
Star sign Virgo
Politics independent politician
Spouse: Kalle Kaljurand
Marina Kaljurand
The details (from wikipedia)


Marina Kaljurand (née Rajevskaja; born 6 September 1962) is an Estonian politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs . She was nominated by the Reform Party, but is independent and has never been affiliated to any political party. Earlier, she served as the Ambassador of Estonia to the United States, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Israel.

Early life and education

Born in Tallinn, Kaljurand is of Latvian and Russian descent through her father and mother, respectively. After obtaining her high school diploma in Tallinn, she graduated in 1986 from the University of Tartu, where she earned a master's degree in law (cum laude). She has also graduated from the Estonian School of Diplomacy and has acquired a master's degree in international law and diplomacy from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (F95) on a Fulbright Scholarship in the United States.


Kaljurand formerly worked as the Undersecretary for Legal and Consular Affairs, Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Undersecretary for Foreign Economic Relations and Development Aid at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Ambassador Kaljurand with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006
Ambassador Kaljurand with President Obama in the Oval Office in 2011

Kaljurand was the Ambassador of Estonia to Israel in 2004–2006, to the Russian Federation in 2005–2008, to Kazakhstan in 2007–2011, to Canada in 2011–2013, and to the United States and Mexico in 2011–2014.

Minister of Foreign Affairs

In July 2015, the Reform Party nominated Kaljurand as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs after Keit Pentus-Rosimannus had resigned. Her tenure began on 16 July 2015. She has frequently emphasized the importance of an efficient Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP).

Kaljurand with Philip Hammond in 2015
Kaljurand with John McCain and other members of the U.S Senate
Kaljurand with U.S. and Estonian soldiers

Relations with Russia

Estonian and Latvian Foreign Minister wearing yellow ribbons to support Eston Kohver

Incidents near border

One of the leading Estonian television broadcasts “Pealtnägija” reported that in 2015 alone, "Russian military aircraft have flown with turned off transponders 266 times near Estonian borders." Marina Kaljurand then made a statement to the press saying Russia has given no explanations on these incidents. Each of the 266 incidents have caused NATO fighter jets to scramble from Ämari to intercept and identify the aircraft with switched off transponders. Kaljurand said this is a very serious problem and Estonia has repeatedly demanded answers from Russia. “Every meeting I have had with the Russian ambassador we have talked about aircraft with switched off transponders being dangerous, they are a threat to all air traffic over the Baltic Sea,” she said. Having their transponders switched off turns the aircraft invisible to most radars used by civil air traffic control. Kaljurand said the ambassador always replies that he will inform Moscow. “He is yet to give a thorough, rational, logical answer,” she added.

Soviet reparations question

Justice Minister and former Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) signed a memorandum with the other two Baltic justice ministers on cooperation to submit reparation demands to Russia. Kaljurand then responded that «The foreign ministry and Estonian government are not intending to take actual practical steps regarding that.»

Border treaty

As Foreign Minister, Kaljurand has continued the work of former ministers to sign a border treaty between Estonia and Russia. The government's bill includes two treaties and a separate agreement on the delimitation of maritime areas near Narva and the Gulf of Finland. The ratification of the bill, which would establish the state border between Estonia and Russia, requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Presidential election in 2016

According to polls, many Estonians wanted to see Kaljurand as the next president, when Toomas Hendrik Ilves' term as President of Estonia ends. For example, according to a poll by TNS Emor in December 2015, 20.3 percent of the respondents wanted to see her as president, with Edgar Savisaar (12.6 percent) in second, followed by Siim Kallas (10.6 percent) and Indrek Tarand (9.5 percent). Kaljurand was the most popular candidate for both sexes, for all education levels and age groups and all income brackets, except for those making 300 or less euros per month.

Kaljurand announced her interest in running, but after the Reform Party had multiple candidates to choose from, Kaljurand suggested that the party would support former Prime Minister Siim Kallas in the election in the parliament and her in the electoral college, in case that the parliament was unable to make a decision. However, the Reform Party decided to support Kallas both in the parliament and in the electoral college. After the decision was made by the party, Kaljurand announced that she would step down from her position as Minister of Foreign Affairs and would run for presidency without the support from the Reform Party.

Despite the Reform Party choosing to support former Prime Minister Siim Kallas, a survey conducted by TNS Emor for daily Postimees at the beginning of September 2016, 40% of Estonians said they would like to see Marina Kaljurand become president. Support for the Reform Party’s official candidate, Siim Kallas, meanwhile shrank to 18%.

On September 20 The Social Democratic Party (SDE) decided not to submit the candidacy of Eiki Nestor in the electoral college round of the presidential election, and although the board did not make a binding decision, the party is to support the candidacy of Marina Kaljurand.

In the election, Kaljurand placed fourth with 75 votes and did not advance to the second round of voting. However, as the electoral college could not make a decision between Kallas and Allar Jõks, the election returned to the parliament for another round and the nomination procedure started over. After hearing the results, Kaljurand announced that she would not run again.

Personal life

Kaljurand speaks three languages: Estonian, Russian and English. She is married with two children - daughter Kaisa (born 1987) and son Kristjan (born 1992). Her hobbies are reading, taking long walks with her two dogs and badminton. She is a multiple Estonian national champion in badminton (1980-1991). She is also a member of the Estonian Scottish Terrier Association.

Topics of interest

Gender equality

Marina Kaljurand has been a vocal supporter of women rights. At the Achieving Gender Equality conference in Tbilisi she said "The political agreements and legal frameworks are in place – now the countries need to start implementing them more efficiently. Everyone benefits from a larger proportion of women in politics and the economy - equal participation will revitalize the economy and increase overall satisfaction."

During her speech held at the Sustainable Summit in New York City (2015) Kaljurand pointed out her main concerns on gender equality. "I would like to use my short minutes to touch upon one of the most important root causes of inequality related to gender aspects – lack of education and shortcomings in sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is a complex matter that cannot be fixed with one magic solution. The Beijing Platform of Action and related national and international norms will not fulfill their goals unless we stop the prevalence of stereotypical attitudes, social norms and practices that support and reproduce discrimination and violence against women. All people have the right to have control and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, free of coercion, discrimination and violence – as a matter of social justice. Sexual and reproductive rights are about bodily integrity, equality and freedom of choice. We cannot look away from the fact that these rights are violated every day, in all our countries."


The e-GovernanceAcademy presented the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) at the Tallinn e-Governance Conference on 31 May. According to Kaljurand, cyber security has become a security guarantee for countries in the 21st century. “In the interests of international and national cyber security, we have to use every opportunity to increase the cyber security capacities of countries,” said Kaljurand at the introduction of the index. “It is in the interests of both governments and the public. The index is yet another contribution made by Estonia to increasing security in cyber space.”

In 2016 at the Conference on State Practice and the Future of International Law in Cyberspace Kaljurand talked about developing Estonian views on international law as it applies to State behavior in cyberspace. "As a lawyer and as a diplomat I appreciate the interplay of law and politics in the international cyber security dialogue. I have personal experience of complicated diplomatic efforts to mitigate cyber-attacks against my country. It is essential to acknowledge that we perceive cyber threats and opportunities differently. Regardless of how clearly we can see and understand each other’s perspectives, it is essential that we remain mindful to each other’s views. This open and permissive attitude allows us to achieve stability and security, while taking full advantage of technological development and advances."

In October 2016, Kaljurand started working as an adviser on security-related questions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Beginning on Oct. 24, I will begin part-time work as an adviser on security-related questions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," continued the former foreign minister. "This means that I will remain a representative of Estonia in the UN's Group of Governmental Experts on Cybersecurity; I have taken part in this work group since 2014, irrespective of [my] positions."

Beginning of 2017 Kaljurand was appointed to chair The Global Commission on the Stability of Cybersecurity.

Foreign Policy

Kaljurand meeting Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, 12 April 2016

“What has been most important in Estonia is regaining its position globally,” Kaljurand said, later calling Estonia the “most integrated state in Northern Europe” in terms of its involvement in international organizations. According to Kaljurand, this integration stems especially from Estonia’s membership in the European Union and NATO. Estonia is also becoming more involved on the global stage by running to become a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2020 to 2021."

She is also and avid supporter of NATO frequently pointing out the importance of it in her speeches. "The political unity of our NATO allies and a common understanding of the risks and requirements the alliance faces has been and is very important for Estonia. We are pleased that in 2015 the security of Estonia was visibly strengthened with the support of our allies – they shared our assessment of threats and understood us. As is stated in the National Security Concept of Estonia, NATO, with its transatlantic nature and the principle of collective defence, serves as the cornerstone of European, and therefore also Estonian, national security and defence." "With all due respect to those who claim that NATO is “warmongering” or “provoking Russia” with our exercises, this is the reality: NATO drills prepare for the defense of our territory, our allies and our people in case of attack. Russia’s drills are offensive, simulating the invasion of its neighbors, the destruction and seizure of critical military and economic infrastructure, and targeted nuclear strikes on NATO allies and partners."


Coming from a bilingual upbringing Kaljurand has emphasized the importance of respecting the culture and language of the country you are living in. She has often spoken about the matter at Russian-Estonian schools.

Professional involvement

  • Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, March 2017- current
  • Member of the CSIS High-Level Advisory Council to the Lillan and Robert D. Stuart Jr Center in Euro-Atlantic and Northern European Studies, January 2017- current
  • Member of the Advisory Council of Global and International Studies at University of Salamanca, January 2017- current
  • Estonian Cyber Security Expert at the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber Security, 2014-2015, September 2016 – current
  • Chief Negotiator on Accession of Estonia to the OECD, 2008- 2011
  • Member of the Governmental Delegation in accession negotiations to the European Union, Head of the Legal Working Group of the Accession Treaty, 2002-2004
  • Member of the Governmental Delegation- negotiations on Land and Maritime Boundaries Agreements between Estonia and Russian Federation, 1995-2005
  • Legal expert of the Governmental Delegation- Agreement on Troops Withdrawal between Estonia and Russian Federation, 1992-1994
  • Founding member of the Estonian Branch of the International Law Association, since 1996
  • Founding member of WIIS-EST – Estonian Branch of Women in International Security, since 2000
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Tallinn University, since 2010


Decorated by the President of Estonia

  • Order of the National Coat of Armas, III class (2008)
  • Order of White Star, III class (2004)


  • Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland (2016)
  • Estonian Association of Business and Professional Women Woman of the Year (2015)
  • “Postimees” Person of the Year (2007)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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