Zelenskyy appoints ambassador to China: what we know about him

Lilia RagutskaPolitics
Riabikin becomes Ukraine's ambassador to China

On April 26, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the People's Republic of China. Pavlo Riabikin, former Minister for Strategic Industries of Ukraine, was appointed.

The relevant decree was published on the President's website. The appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China became known after Zelenskyy's first telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine

"To appoint Pavlo Borysovych Riabikin as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the People's Republic of China," the presidential decree reads.

Pavlo Riabikin is a Ukrainian statesman, politician, lawyer and diplomat. He was once a Member of Parliament of Ukraine of the 7th convocation from the Vitali Klitschko's UDAR party.


Since 2012, Riabikin has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

He has worked at the Kyiv City State Administration, in the government and even at Boryspil International Airport State Enterprise, where he was CEO since March 2017. During his tenure, the company developed and submitted a strategic plan for the airport's development until 2045 to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for approval. A 5-year infrastructure development plan for the hub airport was also presented. According to the results of 2017, Boryspil Airport received a record revenue of UAH 4097 million, and Riabikin was ranked second in the rating of the top 100 best managers in Ukraine.

From November 2020 to November 2021, Riabikin headed the State Customs Service of Ukraine, from where he moved to the position of Minister for Strategic Industries, where he worked until 20 March 2023.

Riabikin also has diplomatic experience. From August 2009 to June 2010, he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Denmark. Riabikin's diplomatic rank is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the 2nd class.

As a reminder, on April 26, it became known that Zelenskyy had a telephone conversation with Xi Jinping. The Ukrainian president called the first contact between Kyiv and Beijing at the highest level after the start of Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine "meaningful".

In particular, the Chinese leader said during the conversation that he would send a special representative of the Chinese government for Eurasian affairs to Ukraine. Xi Jinping also stressed that mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political basis of relations between Beijing and Kyiv.

Zelenskyy, for his part, expressed hope that the visit of the Chinese government's special representative to Ukraine, as well as the appearance of the Ukrainian ambassador in Beijing, "will give a powerful impetus to the development of bilateral relations" between our countries.

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