Born on February 20, 1970 in Kiliya, Odesa region.
Education: Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukrainian State University of Finance and International Trade.
Diplomatic rank: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary First Class. Has been in diplomacy for over 20 years, speaks English fluently.
1993-1994 — co-founder of electronic media outlets Electronni Visti.
1994-1997 — Chief Economist, Head of Division, Deputy Head of the Directorate for Trade and Economic Relations with Africa, Asia and the Pacific Region of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade.
1997-2000 — Deputy Head of the Asia and Pacific Department of the Fifth Territorial Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2000-2001 — Consul to Sydney, Australia.
2001-2002 — Chief Consultant of the Main Directorate at Foreign Policy Directorate of the Administration of the President of Ukraine. At that time, the head of the Administration of the President was Volodymyr Lytvyn.
2002-2006 - political counselor to the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada.
2007-2009 — Deputy Director General for NATO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2009-2012 — Deputy Chief of the Mission at the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington D.C.
In 2012-2014, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich appointed Prystaiko as Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada.
2014-2017 — Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the apparatus under Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
2017-2019 — Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO.
For three months, from May to August 2019, Prystaiko worked as deputy head of the President's Office. His chief was Andriy Bohdan.
The diplomat was not part of the ZeTeam (Zelensky Team) during the campaign. However, after the presidential election, he helped Zelensky prepare for international negotiations. And after that, he was invited to work at the Presidential Administration.
Since August 29, 2019 — Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Since March 4, 2020 - Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
On June 4, 2020, the Rada dismissed Prystaiko from the post of Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration.
'This happened by mutual agreement. Vadym expressed his desire to be the ambassador to Great Britain, he is highly professional, with a large professional experience and excellent knowledge of the foreign policy situation,' Davyd Arakhamia, head of the Servant of the People faction, explained to journalists.
'I have known him for four months and am very pleased with our work,' this is how Volodymyr Zelensky described Prystaiko when he introduced him to the Foreign Ministry staff.
Vadym Prystaiko is a committed Euro-Atlanticist, he has been working on NATO-related topics for many years. As a true diplomat, he always speaks carefully and always defends the authorities.
In October 2013 (under Viktor Yanukovych presidency), he criticized the Canadian government for speaking out about "dictatorial Ukraine."
In January 2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, Canadian politicians discussed targeted sanctions against Viktor Yanukovych and members of the Ukrainian government for beating demonstrators. MPs and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have clearly chosen the "side of the Ukrainian people." Then, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Prystaiko gave an interview to a local TV channel and said that balancing the relationships with Russia and the EU is "a tricky question."
According to the diplomat, Ukraine needs to have a close relationship with Russia because the two countries share a border and have an important trade relationship. He said ties to the EU are also necessary.
Prystaiko added that one should consider that half of the Ukrainian population voted for Yanukovych. And he explained the beatings of activists by the security forces as following:
'What would be the reaction of Canadian police if you had protesters taking over your buildings?'
On February 24, after Yanukovych fleed away, he demanded an apology from the leader of the Canadian liberals, Justin Trudeau, for a bad joke about Ukraine.
'It is very worrisome, particularly since Russia lost in hockey, they will be in a bad mood and we fear Russian involvement in the Ukraine,' said the future Prime Minister of Canada on one of the talk shows.
You have to be extremely careful when you talk about 82 people who died fighting … for their future and everyone’s in danger. [Trudeau’s] just sitting in a nice room, and talking about things in such a light manner; it’s just inappropriate," the Ukrainian diplomat ashamed the politician.
Two days later, Trudeau visited the Ukrainian embassy in Ottawa and apologized.
The Prystaiko family owns six apartments in Kyiv. Vadym and his eldest son Volodymyr have a 33-sq.m. apartment. There is another apartment of 72 sq.m. that is registered on Vadym and his wife. Another four apartments (96 sq.m., 76 sq.m. and 54 sq.m.) and one more (87 sq.m.) that is under construction are owned by his wife.
In 2019, Prystaiko earned UAH 2 million including his salary and compensation for business trips abroad. Vadym's wife earned UAH 360,000 on renting a house.
On the bank accounts, his wife has UAH 204,000 in Oschadbank and EUR 7,400 in ING Bank Belgium.
EUR 35,600 and UAH 170,000 the family keeps in cash. There is also some money that Vadym borrowed from his mother: UAH 300,000, $10,000 and EUR 7,000.
Wife: Inna Prystaiko (maiden name Uglyarenko), born on July 24, 1974.
In 2016, she was receiving a salary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In recent years, according to the declaration, her income is sourced from renting real estate.
One of the apartments Inna rents to Oleksiy Ryabchyn, a former People's Deputy from Batkivshchyna and Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine.
Another householder is a someone Georgy Sattov. In the declarations in recent years, he is indicated with different patronymics: either as Evseevych, or as Evhenievych.
Son: Volodymyr Prystaiko, born on January 5, 1997. He states in social media that he is originally from Sydney and lives in Vienna. Just like his father, Volodymyr has been working at the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada since 2015.
In 2019, he trained at the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs.
Since childhood, he has been writing social media in English. It is known that he studied at Carleton University in Ottawa. And before that, he studied at the Lisgar Collegiate Institute
Brother: Valeriy Prystaiko, born on June 5, 1977. According to the declaration, he works at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (created in 1992 and subordinate to the President of Ukraine).
Until December 2019, Valeriy worked at the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as the chief specialist in mobilization work of the Human Resources Department.
His wife Olena works in the police of the Kyiv region. In the declaration, Valeriy indicated that he owns a land plot (427 sq.m.) in Sevastopol.
Mother: Raisa Prystaiko, born on August 24, 1949. According to Slidstvo.Info, she worked at the weaving factory Fabrika Falcon. According to other sources, she was a housewife raising her sons. Vadym and Valeriy grew up in Kyiv, Obolonskyi district.
Father: Volodymyr Prystaiko (December 16, 1941 — January 21, 2008) — Lieutenant General of Justice. He served in the KGB, then in the SBU. He worked as the head of the investigation of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR and the SBU, built his career to deputy chairman of the department. He conducted all the high-profile cases that took place in the country.
One of the latest cases was considering protests during the action Ukraine Without Kuchma in March 2001. Back then, several hundred people were detained, and 19 were sentenced. Among them, there were well-known activist and member of UNA-UNSO Igor Mazur and political prisoner Karpliuk Mykola captured by the Russian special services.
At that time, Volodymyr Prystaiko called the activists 'militants', and as for the action against Kuchma, he called it 'crimes against the state.' However, now all these references on the Internet have been deleted, and Prystaiko is mentioned exclusively as a historian.
Information in the verification process
The media often attracts attention to the real estate of the diplomat's wife. According to the journalists, all the apartments that Inna rents are located in Kyiv downtown, on Gogolevska street and Ivan Franko street. Since Inna often travels abroad, Vadym Prystaiko's mother-in-law Anna Uglyarenko often comes for rental payments.
In 2019, right after being appointed head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prystaiko received a state-owned real estate in Koncha-Zaspa, even though President Volodymyr Zelensky announced selling the property of the State Administration of Affairs.
The journalists found out that the neighbors of the top official have more than once used the same scheme of withdrawing property from state property.
The scheme is following: the building is declared a write-off, lawyers draw up the appropriate act, then a complete reconstruction takes place, and instead of an old summer house there is an elite villa standing on the site.
In June 2019, Zelensky got involved in a scandal. After he met with Donald Tusk, the media published passages in the new president's speech, however, they turned out to be the quotes from the speech of Petro Poroshenko at the European Solidarity party convention.
The Presidential Administration of Ukraine conducted an investigation and declared about "sabotage by certain employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a deliberate provocation by the team of Petro Poroshenko."
'Prystaiko's colleagues considered that he had violated corporate ethics at that time by not protecting the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,' wrote Dzerkalo Tyzhnia.
They cite another episode when "Prystaiko was not able to defend the position of the Foreign Ministry and make decisions." After the PACE deputies decided to return the voting rights to the Russian delegation, Prystaiko left for Brussels on personal matters.
In September 2019, Vadym Prystaiko made a scandalous statement about his intention to hold local elections all over the country, including the territories occupied by Russia.
'We offer to hold the elections in the entire territory simultaneously, including the occupied parts. Let's see if it works,' he said.
Prystaiko was then accused of surrendering national interests. The diplomat clarified that elections in the occupied part of Donbas will become possible only after implementing certain security conditions and the withdrawing troops.
He was actively involved in the prisoner exchange in September 2019. Back then, 24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners returned to Ukraine, including Oleg Sentsov, Roman Sushchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, Olexandr Kolchenko, and Pavlo Hryb.
About the Minsk agreements:
'Minsk is not an inherent value for us. The inherent value for us is our survival as a nation. And if we see that they do not work and this leads us to permanent delays in the endless process, sooner or later the decision to leave the Minsk process will be made.'
About the trade of diplomats' cars:
'I remember they imported, for example, Harley Davidson worth $30,000. Someone brought motorboats. One diplomat brought a truck. This is a true story and we could not ban it. I asked — why? He explained that "I have a godfather, and he has a brother, and he really wanted to."'
About Servant of the People series:
'There, Ukrainians have neither horns nor tails. And for every Russian person, it should be clear that the stories about "Nazis" who seized power in Kyiv... they might deem them more or less possible at the beginning, during the confrontation on Maidan. And the Russians were ready to believe. But believing that President Zelensky from Kryvyi Rih is a nationalist who keeps on holding the war... I think at some point, the Russians will understand it is not right. And then, they will have to explain why the "fratricidal" war is still being fought.'
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