By Kevin Bogardus - 10/29/11 02:45 PM EDT
Ukraine's second-richest man has hired a top Democratic pollster who helped engineer President Bill Clinton's reelection in 1996. Doug Schoen is working on behalf of Victor Pinchuk — a Ukrainian philanthropist and businessman worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Schoen will help "share [Pinchuk's] views on democratization in Ukraine and European integration and to solicit the views of American policy makers on those subjects," according to records filed with the Justice Department.
Schoen would not discuss how much his compensation was for work on behalf of Pinchuk.
“Mr. Pinchuk has long supported democratization of Ukraine and European integration and it is those basic objectives [that] my work is supporting both now and previously. Mr. Pinchuk also organizes an annual conference in Yalta through his Yalta European Strategy, which also supports these goals,” Schoen told The Hill in an email.
Created in 2004, Yalta European Strategy, or YES, is a forum that discusses Ukraine’s global standing. High-profile speakers like Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder have stopped by the gathering in the past.
Pinchuk made his fortune in pipe design, founding Interpipe Company in 1990 whose products were used across the former Soviet Union, according to his biography on the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s website. In 2006, he also founded EastOne, an international investment advisory firm.
Forbes ranked Pinchuk as the 336th richest person in the world, second in Ukraine, in 2011.
Pinchuk also is a major philanthropist. He serves on the board of directors for the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Though Pinchuk served a member of the Ukrainian Parliament from 1998 to 2006, he decided to retire from politics in 2003, according to his biography.
Schoen, in turn, has had in an interest in Ukraine for several years. He did polling in the country during the Orange Revolution from 2004 to 2005.
Schoen has also been familiar with Pinchuk for some time. He has sat on the board of directors of Pinchuk’s foundation for more than ten years.