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Ukraine and Russia: The Ukrainian Perspective
Recent events in the Crimea have been difficult for everyone involved in this part of the world, but no one has found the situation more difficult than Ukraine itself. Where does this country stand on these issues and how will it deal with what it and some Western countries view as recent unacceptable military and political aggression by the Russian government? How does the Republic of Ukraine see the next twelve months, and is there a constructive way forward for all of the various players in this conflict? Should the West be as concerned by recent events as Ukraine itself?
Our guest speaker, Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, was appointed by the President of Ukraine in November, 2012. He is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and English, has had a distinguished career in both the private and public sectors, and holds a Master Degree from the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade as well as a degree in Computer Science. In 2007, he was part of Ukraine’s NATO negotiating team, and served as the Deputy Director General for NATO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko was born in Southern Ukraine ,Odessa, on February 20, 1970. He spent his school years in Odessa, Kyiv and Zaporizhia. Eventually, the family settled in Kyiv.
In 1994, he graduated cum laude from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Computer Science. In 1998, he received a Master Degree from the Ukrainian Academy of Foreign Trade.
Ambassador Prystaiko began his professional career in the private sector. He was a co founder of one of the first Ukrainian Internet providers and electronic media outlets, Electronni Visti.
In 1994, following his family’s tradition of government service, he obtained a position at the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations. At that time, the Ministry was expanding rapidly as Ukraine began to negotiate with GATT/WTO.
In 1997, Mr. Prystaiko decided to broaden his professional experience in the foreign policy area and went to work in the economic section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was involved, among other things, in trying to develop trade with Asian countries.
In 2000, Mr. Prystaiko was posted as a consul to Sydney, Australia where he was involved mostly with political and economic issues.
A few years later, in 2002, Mr. Prystaiko assumed a position in the Foreign Policy Directorate, Administration of the President of Ukraine. In December 2004, he was posted as a political counselor to the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada. For two years of his four year assignment, Vadym Prystaiko was the acting chargé d’affaires.
In 2007, Mr. Prystaiko joined Ukraine’s NATO negotiating team by becoming Deputy Director General for NATO in Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In 2009, he was posted as Minister Counselor and Deputy Chief of the Mission at the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
On November 8, 2012 the President of Ukraine appointed Mr. Prystaiko as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Canada.
Ambassador Prystaiko arrived to Canada on December 9, 2012 and on December 13, 2012 he was privileged to present his Credentials to the Governor General of Canada The Right Honourable D.Johnston.
Ambassador Prystaiko holds a diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He is married to Mrs. Inna Prystaiko; they have two sons Volodymyr and Andrii.
In his spare time Ambassador Prystaiko enjoys reading, photography and different sports, biking, swimming, and scuba diving. However his favourite sport is Taekwondo, where Ambassador Prystaiko earned a black belt.
Ambassador Prystaiko is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and English