President Arnold Rüütel

Former President of Estonia


Arnold Rüütel graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the Estonian Agricultural Academy in 1964. In 1969, he was elected rector of the Estonian Agricultural Academy. Since 1977, Rüütel has held several high state positions, first in the political sphere and later on in the executive and legislative organs of power. In 1983, he was elected Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR. In March 1990, the people of Estonia elected Arnold Rüütel to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia. In the council's first session, he was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council. In 1990 the Council of Baltic States was established in Tallinn, initiated by Rüütel. Rüütel did his doctorate in agriculture in 1991, continuing his academic career.

Between 1991 and 1992, Arnold Rüütel was a member of the Constitutional Assembly drafting the new Constitution of the Republic of Estonia. In 1995, receiving a record number of votes, he was elected to the Riigikogu (the Parliament of Estonia) and, following this became the Vice-Chairman of the Riigikogu. From 1994 to 2000, Arnold Rüütel was chairman of the centre-right Estonian Rural People's Party, one of the largest Estonian political parties. In 1995 Arnold Rüütel was elected head of the delegation of Riigikogu to the Baltic Assembly and then in 1990 he became Chairman of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly. Arnold Rüütel was the President of Estonia from 2001 till 2006.

“Culture as the Foundation of Sustainable Development”

A lecture by Dr. Arnold Rüütel, Former President of Estonia
The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2013
(Berlin; December 17th - 21st, 2013)