The opening of the 14th Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting will take place at the Besarabsky Market in the downtown of Kyiv for the first time. YES was founded by businessmen Viktor Pinchuk in 2004 and usually took place in the Livadia Palace in Yalta but after the annexation of Crimea, it was relocated to the capital of Ukraine.
According to the organizers, the selection of the Besarabsky Marker as the place of the forum’s opening demonstrates the Ukrainian diversity.
The plenary sessions of the forum will begin in the Mystetsky Arsenal on September 15. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will open the session and he will deliver a speech dedicated to the role of Ukraine in the changing world.
This year the partakers of the forum will concentrate on such global issues as the shifts in the geopolitical allocation of forces and changes in the global economy. Particularly, they will discuss the policy of the new US administration, global security, cyber-security issues, populism and energy security. Within the context of Ukraine, they will talk about the changes of the country, necessary reforms, the perception of our country by the EU, possible variants of the provision of the national security, ways of preserving of the Ukrainian territorial integrity and the conflict between the opinion leaders and personal interests.
The first day of the forum will be mostly dedicated to the international issues. Vice President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic and the owner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics Paul Krugman will give a talk. Former US Secretaries of State John Kerry (2013-2017), Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009), former US Defense Minister Robert Gates (2006-2011), former Speaker of US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, former Director of the US National Security Agency Keith Alexander will participate in the event. Also, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and others will be the speakers at the forum.
The second plenary day of the forum on September 16 will be dedicated to the Ukrainian issues. The speech of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on the development of the reforms in Ukraine and the EU role in this process is expected. The discussion between the Prime Minister and partakers of the forum will be moderated by the host of the HARDTalk program at the BBC Stephen Sackur
Also, the strategies on the return of Donbas and Crimea under the control of Ukraine will be discussed. There also will be a separate session with the participation of General Prosecutor of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko dedicated to the issue of the supremacy of law.
It will be possible to hear US Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, former US Defense Minister Robert Gates, member of the House of Representatives Will Hurd, Chairman of Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger, Minister of State for Europe and Americas Alan Duncan, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, former Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseny Yatsenyuk, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2009-2014), Chairman of Crimean Tatar Mejlis Refat Chubarov, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and others.
The forum will last for three days. Ukrainian MP Ganna Gopko reported that the discussion platform that is alternative to YES is prepared in Ukraine. According to her, this initiative of the Ukrainian MPs was supported by the Administration of the President of Ukraine and range of the Ministries. She noted that the number of opinion leaders will not take part in the forum. The reason is the article of Viktor Pinchuk in The Wall Street Journal with the offers for Ukraine to refuse from the membership in the EU and NATO. Gopko said that the alternative forum can take place in May 2018. However, it is only an offer and the Ukrainian President did not refuse to take part in the YES forum this year. It is a high-level meeting.
The dozens of the world’s leaders visited YES forum and a lot of people remembered the speech of Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2015 in Kyiv.
‘I was asked sometimes: what are your biggest mistakes if you can look back? I will answer: we thought that we have great dreams. And now we understand that they were not so great. You should dream about greater things. The greater you dream is the more you will achieve.
Former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair will deliver ‘Peace speech in the name of Shimon Peres’ in the co commemoration of the Israeli president who died on September 28, 2016. Peres gave a talk at the YES forum for three times.