Minister of Defence (Estonia)

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Minister of Defence

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Jüri Luik

since 12 June 2017
Ministry of Defence
Appointer Jüri Ratas
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The Minister of Defence ( Estonian: Kaitseminister) is the senior minister at the Ministry of Defence (Kaitseministeerium) in the Estonian Government. The Minister is one of the most important members of the Estonian government, with responsibility for coordinating the governments policies on national defence and the military forces.

Estonian language Finno-Ugric language spoken in Estonia

The Estonian language is the official language of Estonia, spoken natively by about 1.1 million people: 922,000 people in Estonia and 160,000 outside Estonia. It is a Southern Finnic language and is the second most spoken language among all the Finnic languages.

Ministry of Defence (Estonia) Estonian government ministry responsible for military and national defense matters

The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Estonia and its head, the Minister of Defence, are responsible for organizing national defence.The mission of the Ministry of Defence is to deter attacks against Estonia and ensure that the country is capable of defending itself against external threats. Estonian national defence is based on initial self-defence capability as well as membership in NATO.


The Defence Minister is chosen by the Prime Minister as a part of the government. The current Defence Minister is Jüri Luik.

Prime Minister of Estonia Head of government of the Republic of Estonia

The Prime Minister of Estonia is the head of government of the Republic of Estonia. The prime minister is nominated by the President after appropriate consultations with the parliamentary factions and confirmed by the Parliament. In case of disagreement, the Parliament can reject the President's nomination and choose their own candidate. In practice, since the Prime Minister must maintain the confidence of Parliament in order to remain in office, he is usually the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition. The current Prime Minister is Jüri Ratas of the Centre Party.

Jüri Luik Estonian diplomat and politician

Jüri Luik is an Estonian diplomat and politician. Jüri Luik has held the positions of Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonian Minister of Defense and the permanent representative for Estonia in NATO. Currently he is the Estonian minister of Defence.

When the position was originally established in 1918, it was called the Minister of War (Sõjaminister). The post was renamed Minister of Defence on April 1, 1929, but would change back to Minister of War in 1937. Though the name of the position, and subsequently the ministry, was changed the main responsibilities of the position remained virtually unchanged.

Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991 the post has been known as the Minister of Defence.

List of Ministers

1918 to 1929 (Minister of War)

NameTook OfficeLeft OfficeParty
Andres Larka February 24, 1918November 27, 1918non-party
Konstantin Päts November 27, 1918May 8, 1919non-party
Otto Strandman May 8, 1919November 18, 1919 Estonian Labour Party
August Johannes Hanko November 18, 1919July 28, 1920non-party
Aleksander Tõnisson July 28, 1920October 26, 1920non-party
Ants Piip October 26, 1920January 25, 1921 Estonian Labour Party
Jaan Soots January 25, 1921August 2, 1923 Farmers' Assemblies
Ado Anderkopp August 2, 1923February 19, 1924 Estonian Labour Party
Oskar Amberg March 26, 1924October 18, 1924 Christian People's Party
Hans Kurvits November 11, 1924November 26, 1924
Jaan Soots (2nd time)December 16, 1924March 4, 1927 Farmers' Assemblies
Nikolai Reek March 4, 1927December 4, 1928
Mihkel Juhkam December 4, 1928March 31, 1929 Estonian Labour Party

1929 to 1937 (Minister of Defence)

NameTook OfficeLeft OfficeParty
Mihkel Juhkam April 1, 1929July 9, 1929 Estonian Labour Party
Oskar Köster July 9, 1929February 12, 1931 Settlers' Party
August Kerem February 12, 1931November 19, 1932 Estonian People's Party
Aleksander Tõnisson (2nd time)November 1, 1932May 18, 1933non-party
August Kerem (2nd time)May 18, 1933October 21, 1933 Estonian People's Party
Paul Lill October 21, 1933February 28, 1937

1937 to 1940 (Minister of War)

NameTook OfficeLeft Office
Paul Lill March 1, 1937October 12, 1939
Nikolai Reek (2nd time)October 12, 1939June 21, 1940

1992 to Present (Minister of Defence)

NameTook OfficeLeft OfficeParty
Ülo Uluots June 18, 1992October 21, 1992 Popular Front of Estonia
Hain Rebas October 21, 1992August 5, 1993 Estonian National Independence Party
Jüri Luik August 23, 1993November 8, 1994 Pro Patria Union
Indrek Kannik January 7, 1994May 23, 1994 Pro Patria Union
Enn Tupp June 28, 1994April 17, 1995 Pro Patria Union
Andrus Öövel April 17, 1995March 25, 1999 Estonian Coalition Party
Jüri Luik (2nd time)March 25, 1999January 28, 2002 Pro Patria Union
Sven Mikser January 28, 2002April 10, 2003 Estonian Centre Party
Margus Hanson April 10, 2003November 22, 2004 Estonian Reform Party
Jaak Jõerüüt November 22, 2004October 8, 2005 Estonian Reform Party
Jürgen Ligi October 10, 2005April 5, 2007 Estonian Reform Party
Jaak Aaviksoo April 5, 2007April 6, 2011 Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica
Mart Laar April 6, 2011May 11, 2012 Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica
Urmas Reinsalu May 14, 2012March 26, 2014 Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica
Sven Mikser (2nd time)March 26, 2014September 14, 2015 Social Democratic Party
Hannes Hanso September 14, 2015November 23, 2016 Social Democratic Party
Margus Tsahkna November 23, 2016June 12, 2017 Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica
Jüri Luik (3rd time)June 12, 2017 Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica

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