Threats to Ukraine's Security, and What the International Community Can Do
YES Online Conversation
#YESUkraine
Mr. Victor Pinchuk, Founder, YES, Victor Pinchuk Foundation, EastOne group (Introduction)

H.E. Ms. Larisa Galadza
, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine

H.E. Ms. Anka Feldhusen, Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine

H.E. Mr. Etienne de Poncins, Ambassador of France to Ukraine

H.E. Ms. Melinda Simmons, Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ukraine

Mr. Joseph Pennington, Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. of the United States in Ukraine (video-address)

The conversation will be moderated by

Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation,
Chairman of the YES Board

with contributions of


Mr. Carl Bildt
, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994)

Ambassador (ret.) John E. Herbst, Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
English
Ukrainian translation
Since 2004, Yalta European Strategy has been the main non-governmental platform for connecting the world and Ukraine. The YES Annual Meetings have brought together world political, business leaders and thinkers to discuss Ukraine's future and pressing global challenges.

Read more about YES and Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

The YES team will be happy to answer any questions at [email protected] or
+380 68 864 08 85 / +380 67 502 54 86
Speakers and moderators
Mr. Victor Pinchuk
Founder, YES, Victor Pinchuk Foundation, EastOne group (Introduction)
H.E. Ms. Larisa Galadza
Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine
H.E. Ms. Anka Feldhusen
Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine
H.E. Mr. Etienne de Poncins
Ambassador of France to Ukraine
H.E. Ms. Melinda Simmons
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ukraine
Mr. Joseph Pennington
Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. of the United States in Ukraine
Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation,
Chairman of the YES Board (Moderator)
Mr. Carl Bildt
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014),
Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994)
Ambassador (ret.) John E. Herbs
Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
Show all biographies
Victor Pinchuk
Founder, EastOne Group, YES, Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist. He graduated with honours from the Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Institute in 1983 and earned a PhD degree in 1987 before starting his career as a research engineer in pipe production. In 1990, he founded the Interpipe Company on the basis of his patented innovations in pipe design, engineering and production, which were successfully adopted by leading metallurgical factories in the former USSR. In 2007, he founded EastOne Ltd., an international investment advisory company whose portfolio comprises more than 20 businesses and large-scale projects, including Interpipe and assets in Ukraine and internationally in ferroalloys, oil and gas, media and others. Mr. Pinchuk served as an elected Member of the Parliament of Ukraine from 1998 to 2006. For many years Mr. Pinchuk has been developing and supporting a number of philanthropic projects in Ukraine. In 2006, he consolidated these activities under the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which became the largest private Ukrainian philanthropic foundation. Its mission is "Empowering future generations to become the change makers of tomorrow." It focuses on education, Ukraine's international integration, healthcare and access to the inspiration of contemporary art.The projects of the foundation include the following: the largest private scholarship program in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA; an international scholarship program for Ukrainian students, WorldWideStudies; public lectures with international leaders for Ukrainian students; founding the Kyiv School of Economics; a network of modern neonatal centers throughout Ukraine, Cradles of Hope; the Davos Ukrainian Lunch organized annually at the occasion of the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos; and the largest and most dynamic contemporary art centre in Central and Eastern Europe, the PinchukArtCentre. The PinchukArtCentre provides free admission and has welcomed over 3 million visitors since its founding. It also awards the biannual Future Generation Art Prize for artists from any country aged 35 or younger and the biannual PinchukArtCentre Prize for young Ukrainian artists. Mr. Pinchuk has long promoted closer ties between Ukraine and the EU. In 2004, he created the Yalta European Strategy (YES) – an international independent organization aimed at promoting Ukraine's integration with Europe and the world. Mr. Pinchuk is a member of the World Economic Forum, a member of the International Advisory Council of the Atlantic Council, and a member of the International Advisory Council of Brookings Institution. He was included in the "2010 Time 100 - The World's Most Influential People" list by Time Magazine. In 2013, he joined the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative founded in 2010 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
H.E. Ms. Larisa Galadza
Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine
Larisa Galadza (BA Hons [Political Science and Ethics], Trinity College at the University of Toronto, 1994; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1996) joined the Department of National Defence in 1996. She worked in policy-related positions at the Privy Council Office in 2001 and at the Treasury Board Secretariat from 2003 to 2006, before moving to Public Safety Canada, where she was director of Strategic Policy and Research and then senior director for National Security Policy. From 2012 to 2014, she served at the Privy Council Office as director of operations for the Social Affairs Committee of Cabinet, and then, from 2014 to 2016, she was director general of Admissibility at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In 2016, she became director general of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program at Global Affairs Canada. Ambassador Galadza presented her credential to the President of Ukraine in November 2019.
H.E. Ms. Anka Feldhusen
Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine
Anka Feldhusen was born on 25 April 1966 in Elmshorn, a small town in Northern Germany. She attended school and the first years of university in Kiel, where she studied Political Sciences, English and Russian Language.

In 1987 she moved to France and obtained her degree of Political Sciences at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris in 1990. Prior to joining the Federal Foreign Service in 1993 Anka Feldhusen worked for three years at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris in the International Department. After her training at the Diplomatic Academy in Bonn she was posted to Kyiv in 1994 as desk officer for press, protocol and cultural affairs. From 1997 to 1998 she pursued a mid-carrier MA in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Upon returning to the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and Berlin 1998 Anka Feldhusen served as protocol officer until 2002. From 2002 to 2005 she was posted as Deputy Head of Mission to Cuba. Rotating back to Berlin she headed the Training Department of the Federal Foreign Office until 2009. In preparation for her next appointment as Deputy Head of Mission in Kyiv she spent a year learning Ukrainian. In July 2010 Anka Feldhusen took up her new post in Kyiv where she witnessed the Revolution of Dignity. In July 2015 she returned to Berlin and headed the Federal Foreign Office's East Africa Department before being transferred to the Office of the Federal President where she served in the Foreign Policy Division until July 2019.

Anka Feldhusen came back to Kyiv as Ambassador on July 18, 2019, and handed over her credentials to President Zelensky on July 24.
H.E. Mr. Etienne de Poncins
Ambassador of France to Ukraine
Etienne de PONCINS, born on March 6th, 1964

Bachelor's degree in History
Diploma of the Political Studies Institute (IEP)
Alumnus of the National School of Administration (ENA), intake "Jean Monnet", 1988-1990

Minister plenipotentiary 2nd class

Positions held
  • National School of Administration (ENA), 1988-1990
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Department for Financial and Economic Affairs), 1990-1993
  • Counsellor at the Cabinet of the Minister for European Affairs, 1993-1995
  • Counsellor at the French Permanent Representation to the EU (Brussels), 1995-1999
  • Deputy head of Mission at the Embassy of France in Poland, 1999-2002
  • Second Counsellor at the French Permanent Representation to the EU and Member of the Secretariat of the European Convention, 2002-2003
  • Press Counsellor at the French Permanent Representation to the European Union, 2003-2005
  • Head of Cabinet of the Minister for European Affairs, 2005-2007
  • Ambassador in Sofia (Bulgaria), 2007-2010
  • Ambassador in Nairobi (Kenya) and in Mogadishu (Somalia), 2010-2013
  • Head of one of the tenth European Civilian Mission, CSDP Mission EUCAP Nestor (now named EUCAP Somalia), based in Djibouti, Berbera, Mogadishu, Nairobi at the External European Action Service (EEAS), 2013-2015
  • Inspector of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2015-2019
Honours
Knight of the National Order of Merit
Knight of the Legion of Honour
H.E. Ms. Melinda Simmons
Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ukraine
Ms Melinda Simmons was appointed Her Majesty's Ambassador to Ukraine in September 2019.

Curriculum Vitae

Full name: Melinda Simmons

  • 2018 - 2019, FCO, Full-time Language Training (Ukrainian)
  • 2017 - 2018, National Security Secretariat, Director, National Security Secretariat Joint Funds Unit
  • 2016 - 2017, National Security Secretariat, Head, Joint Programme Hub 2013 - 2016 FCO, Deputy Director, Conflict Department
  • 2011 - 2013, DFID, Deputy Director, Europe
  • 2010 - 2011, DFID, Deputy Director, Humanitarian Emergency Response Review
  • 2008 - 2009, DFID, Deputy Director, Middle East and North Africa
  • 2005 - 2008, DFID, Head of DFID Southern Africa (Pretoria)
  • 2003 - 2005, DFID, Head of Africa Team, Gleneagles G8 2005 Unit
Mr. Joseph Pennington
Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. of the United States in Ukraine
Joseph Pennington, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, is the Senior Advisor to the Ambassador on U.S. Assistance to Ukraine. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2015-18), Director of the Office of Iraq Affairs (2015), and Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (2013-15). For his service in Erbil, Mr. Pennington received the Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy.

Mr. Pennington served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic (2010-13) and held the same position in Yerevan, Armenia (2007-10). He worked as the U.S. Embassy Spokesman in Ankara, Turkey (2002-06), political-economic officer in Naples, Italy (2001-02), and headed the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2000-01). He served as an economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo (1999-2000), and as political-economic officer at the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey (1995-98), where his work was recognized with the Assistant Secretary's Award for Exceptional Achievement in the Field of Human Rights and Democracy. Mr. Pennington has also worked in the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Mr. Pennington is married to Amberin Zaman, a journalist who currently works as the Senior Middle East Correspondent for the Washington-based media site "Al-Monitor."
Mr. Aleksander Kwaśniewski
President of Poland 1995-2005, Founder of Amicus Europae Foundation, Chairman of the Board of YES (Introduction)
Born on 15 November 1954 in Białogard (Poland), he studied Economy at the University of Gdańsk from 1973 to 1977. He was activist in students organization, Editor-in-Chief of the student weekly "ITD" (1981-1984) and co-founder of the first polish computer magazine "Bajtek".

Mr. Kwaśniewski was member of PZPR Party (Polish United Workers' Party) and Minister in the Government of Poland from 1985 to 1990. He was President of the Polish Olympic Committee from 1988 to 1991. He was Co- founder and first chairman of the Social Democracy of Poland in 1990.

Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) from 1993 to 1995, he was Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly. Mr. Kwaśniewski is co-author of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, which was adopted in 1997. In 1995 he was appointed President of Poland (against Mr. Wałęsa) and was reelected in 2000.

Mr. Kwaśniewski was a great advocate of Poland membership in NATO (achieved 1999) and European Union (Poland joined the EU in 2004).

An active spokesman and inventor of many initiatives for regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, Mr. Kwaśniewski gave a longstanding support of Ukrainian independence. He was a mediator on behalf of UE during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and Special envoy of EP in Ukraine (together with Pat Cox) in 2013-2014. He is also author of numerous initiatives for reconciliation between Poles and the German, Jewish, and Ukrainian people.

After the Presidency he become Chairman of the Board of Yalta European Strategy, honorary professor at Georgetown University, member of the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States, member of the Club de Madrid.
Mr. Carl Bildt
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994)
Carl Bildt served as both Prime Minister of Sweden in 1991-1994, and Foreign Minister of Sweden in 2006-2014. During the first period, his government initiated major liberal economic reforms, as well as negotiated and signed a membership agreement with the European Union. Subsequently, Mr. Bildt served in international functions with the EU and UN, primarily related to the conflicts in the Balkans. He was Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Talks on Bosnia and became the first High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995-1997. Later, he was the Special Envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the region. After stepping down as the leader of the Moderate Party of Sweden in 1999 and leaving the Parliament in 2000, Mr. Bildt was also engaged in corporate boards in Sweden and the USA, as well as in various international think-tanks. Returning to his public career as Foreign Minister of Sweden, he came to be seen as one of the most prominent and vocal of European foreign ministers during his years in office. He was one of the initiators of the EU's Eastern Partnership and pushed the EU forward on issues of the Middle East. Mr. Bildt has continued to promote the use of social media in international diplomacy.
Ambassador (ret.) John E. Herbst
Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
John Herbst is the director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center. Ambassador Herbst served for thirty-one years as a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of career minister. He was the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Prior to his ambassadorship in Ukraine, he was the ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003. Ambassador Herbst previously served as US consul general in Jerusalem; principal deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the Newly Independent States; director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs; director of regional affairs in the Near East Bureau; and at the embassies in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Saudi Arabia. He most recently served as director of the Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University. He has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary of State's Career Achievement Award, the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Ambassador Herbst's writings on stability operations, Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia are widely published.
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