Estonia's ex-president to join board of Ukrainian foreign policy organization

  • 2021-10-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Starting from Nov. 1, Estonia's former president Kersti Kaljulaid will be a member of the board of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) founded by Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, Postimees reports.

Founded in 2004 by Pinchuk, who has for years been considered one of the most influential oligarchs in Ukraine, YES is Ukraine's best known foreign policy platform, the board of which also includes former president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and former secretary general of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

A proposal has indeed been made to Kaljulaid to become a member of YES board for three years starting from Nov. 1, the former president's adviser Taavi Linnamae told Postimees.

Linnamae said that Kaljulaid has always attached great importance to the wellbeing of Ukraine. It must have been noticed in Ukraine, and thus a proposal has been made for her to join the YES board, he added.

"Ukraine is at war and needs Europe's support while at the same time it is in Europe's interest that Ukraine be a democratic and wealthy corruptionless state with an honest business environment and in accordance with the principles of the rule of law. This is what Kersti Kaljulaid stood up for during her term as president and it's also what she deems important today," Linnamae said, commenting on why Kaljulaid has agreed to accept Pinchuk's offer.

In addition to Kwasniewski, Rasmussen and soon-to-be member Kaljulaid, the YES board also includes former prime minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, former president of the European Parliament Pat Cox and chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger.

YES organizes an annual conference for European political and economic leaders on the topic of the future of Europe and Ukraine. It is one of the largest political conferences in Eastern Europe and one that Kaljulaid took part in on two occasions during her presidency. The conference was held at the Livadia Palace in Yalta until the occupation of Crimea and has been held in Kyiv since 2014.

Pinchuk is one of the wealthiest people and best known philanthropists in Ukraine. He is a former member of the Ukrainian parliament and the founder of Interpipe Group, one of Ukraine's leading pipe, wheel and steel producers.