Viktor Pinchuk Opens 12th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting

Viktor Pinchuk Opens 12th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting
11 September 2015

Viktor Pinchuk, the founder of Yalta European Strategy (YES) and a member of its Supervisory Board, opened the first official day of the 12th YES Annual Meeting, today in Kyiv.

Acknowledging the anniversary of the September 11th attacks in the United States, Pinchuk addressed the gathering of more than 350 global leaders from politics, business, society and media from more than 20 countries, to discuss new Ukraine’s impact on Europe and the world.

“Today is the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which changed our world,” Pinchuk said. “Thousands of innocent people were killed. Terrorists undermined our hope for a freer, better post-Cold War world. It was an attack on all of us – and on our principles.”

Pinchuk, who founded YES to connect Ukraine to the world and explore ways to a peaceful and cooperative wider Europe, described the Ukraine of today as a country which has found itself at the heart of Europe, and a country in which people were dying for European values.

“I know that all of you represent Ukraine in some way, but far from everyone realises that what has happened in Ukraine also impacts the world at large,” Pinchuk said, referring to the events in Kyiv’s Independence Square in 2014, when hundreds of people were killed, and outside the parliamentary building on 31 August 2015, when a grenade blast killed citizens. The Ukrainians who perished then had not lost their lives in vain, he said.

Pinchuk described the YES Annual Meeting as a gathering of friends who could engage in a robust and constructive dialogue, adding that the forum would continue to play a historical role as a powerful platform towards “working for the benefit of Ukraine, and a new Ukraine.”

The 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting will be streamed live at as well as web-sites of the Media Partners in English and Ukrainian.

The official Twitter of the 12th YES Annual Meeting is @yes_ukraine, and participants and followers can include the hashtag: #YESUkraine2015.

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John Tefft
John Tefft
Ambassador to Ukraine (2009-2013), 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«Russia still has to become a modern nation. It still hasn’t made the fundamental decisions to determine whether it’s going to be a part of the international community or whether it’s going to try to be an imperial power and attack its neighbors, and take their land.»