80 years outdated | Ambassador Jukka Valtasaari usually delivered Mauno Koivisto’s letters to President Bush – He says his 21 years within the United States have been “superior”

Ambassador Jukka from Valtasaari intertwined with the time of Finnish diplomacy Mr. America. From his four decades at the State Department, he served for as long as 21 years in the United States, first two episodes at the United Nations in New York and then twice as ambassador to Wa-shington.

Working in the United States was challenging and rewarding for him.

“Awesome it was,” Valtasaari says with enthusiasm in his voice.

“The way we work there is more intense than in Europe, and the abundant social interactions are not a light glaze but an active work to carry out our agenda.”

power Island made connections and represented with vigor, and most often together Etelwith his wife.

According to Valtasaari, personal relationships are crucial. You have to choose the target groups carefully and know the Washington civil service, prepare well for quick meetings.

“In five minutes with the right key person, you can advance things better than with five statements – but then you have to be concise,” says Valtasaari.

“My daily working hours were so slippery that I only had time to write diplomatic reports to Helsinki between five and eight in the morning,” he adds.

power Island had in no way forced himself to be a diplomat. Growing up in Kruununhaka, Helsinki, the young man studied economics with success, also working as an assistant at the department for a few years. But in the end, his career as a diplomat surpassed that of a researcher.

“As a high school student, I had been to summer jobs in Europe three times – in Germany, Sweden and France – and that’s when the idea of ​​having to go abroad to work began to sprout. And in the sixties, it meant about the same as applying to the State Department, ”he explains.

He received his strictest doctrine from Ritarikatu ‘s older colleagues, such as From Max Jakobson, Keijo Korhonen, Ilkka Pastinen and From Risto Hyvärinen. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was still a smaller agency and local guidance came to mind.

As an ambassador to Washington in the 1980s and 1990s, Valtasaari witnessed a major turning point in history. Eastern Europe was liberated and soon the red flag was lowered in the Kremlin.

What did the end of the Cold War look like from the core of the US?

“Following it was hugely fascinating. Gorbachev was supported by Washington, but the problem was that the Bush regime did not even believe in perestroika. The overthrow of the Soviet Union could not have been foreseen by the Washington elite. ”

The Ambassador his duties at the time also included delivering President Koivisto’s letters to President Bush.

“I always got to read them myself before taking them to the White House, but I didn’t see Bush’s response letters fresh,” Valtasaari says.

“Koivisto stressed that he would take the letters by hand to Bush’s security adviser, General To Brent Scowcroft, then they don’t stay there somewhere on the tables to drift. Mauno practiced this with his own humor, ”he recalls.

Today, Jukka Valtasaari is anxiously looking behind the backbone.

“Poor predictability, poor situation. The current constellation, of course, gnaws at the position of a superpower, but more so with President Trump than with the regime. ”

The American connoisseur ponders how easily the Republican Party fell into Trump’s arms four years ago. There were many underlying factors that were originally maturing from the social and economic upheaval, the sinking of the working class and the white lower middle class.

“It created a psychology that fed and enabled Trump’s rocket rise,” Valtasaari says.

“I don’t think a similar spurt will happen again this fall.”

The matter will be resolved after 94 days.

Jukka Valtasaari

Born in 1940 in Kuopio.

Student 1958, Helsinki Ressu. Bachelor of Political Science 1962 and Licentiate 1965, University of Helsinki. Harvard University International Fellow 1976-77. Woodrow Wilson Center Public Policy Fellow 2006.

Assistant Professor of Economics 1963–66, University of Helsinki.

To the Ministry for Foreign Affairs 1966. At the Finnish Mission to the UN in Geneva in 1968–71 and in New York in 1971–74 and 1977–83, as Ambassador to Washington in 1988–96 and 2001–05, and as State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs 1996–2001.

Taconic Capital Advisers, Senior Advisor, 2007-09.

Published four books, and foreign and trade policy writings.

Lives in Helsinki, married, three children and four grandchildren.

Turns 80 on Saturday, August 1. Celebrating in a family circle.

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