Jānis Jurkāns

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Jānis Jurkāns (born 31 August 1946 in Riga, Latvian SSR) is a Latvian politician, one of the leaders of the Latvian Popular Front, who served as foreign minister (1990–1992).


Jānis Jurkāns was born in 1946 into a family with Polish-Latvian roots.[1] In 1974 Jurkāns graduated from the Latvian State University, majoring in English. He worked as a lecturer from 1974 to 1978. In 1989 he became an activist of the Popular Front. Jurkāns was Minister of Foreign Affairs in Latvia, 1990–1992. In 1992, Janis Jurkāns, together with 9 other Baltic Ministers of Foreign Affairs and an EU commissioner, founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the EuroFaculty.[2]

He resigned in 1992 due to opposition to the Latvian citizenship law, that in his view threatened social harmony in the country; he also rejected territorial claims to the Abrene district.[3][4] In 1994, Jurkāns founded the National Harmony Party and was the chairman of the party's faction in the Saeima (1994–1996; 1997–1998) and later of the parliamentary faction of the For Human Rights in United Latvia alliance. He was a deputy in the V, VI, VII and VIII convocations of the Saeima (1993–2006). In 2002, he visited Moscow and met Vladimir Putin, who expressed support for Jurkāns's policies.[5] In 2005 he distanced himself from politics, concentrating on the logistics corporation "Baltijas asociācija – transports un loģistika".[6] Nevertheless, he participated in the Latvian parliamentary election, 2011 as a Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way candidate and was a potential candidate for foreign minister; however, he failed to get elected. Supporter of Crimea's annexation by Russia.[7]

Jānis Jurkāns is divorced, and has two sons. He shares his life with English teacher Linda Apse.


  1. ^ Krzysztof Szczepanik, Stanisław Tarasiewicz, Los Polaka o nazwisku Jurkans, czyli Zacharewicz, "Kurier Wileński", nr 65 (15862) z 7 kwietnia 2008
  2. ^ Kristensen, Gustav N. 2010. Born into a Dream. EuroFaculty and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Berliner Wissentshafts-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8305-1769-6.
  3. ^ Отставка министра иностранных дел Латвии // Коммерсантъ, № 20 (173), 28 октября 1992
  4. ^ Голосование о доверии кабинету в Латвии // Коммерсантъ, № 15 (168), 22 октября 1992
  5. ^ Зайцев В. Правящая партия в Латвии проиграла // Независимая газета, 7 октября 2002
  6. ^ http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=482
  7. ^ «Экс-глава МИД Латвии поддержал присоединение Крыма к России». ria.ru, 9 Jan 2015.

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