President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko awarded the highest award of Ukraine for foreigners - the Order of Liberty - to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
According to the President’s Decree, Anders Fogh Rasmussen is awarded "for significant contribution to the development of cooperation between the state of Ukraine and the NATO, important support in defending the sovereignty, independence and integrity of Ukraine".
During the award ceremony in Kyiv, the Head of State stressed: "Over the years you have been and now remain a friend of Ukraine, and we hope that the development of our cooperation with NATO is the key to the success of our reforms, security and territorial integrity".
"There was a desire of freedom whcih brought our people to the Revolution of Dignity, and there is the commitment to the European values, including liberty and democracy, which is the driving force of Ukrainian reforms", said the President.
In turn, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that he admires "aspirations of the Ukrainians for freedom". He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the struggle for freedom, and to people who are suffering in these hard times. "We remain at the side of Ukraine and your struggle for the fundamental principles of a democratic society", said the Secretary General.
He stressed that NATO appreciates the distinctive partnership with Ukraine, adding: "I am looking forward to further developing this partnership". Every state, said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has the right to decide its own future.
NATO Secretary General thanked the President of Ukraine for the high award. "This award inspires me to my further fight for freedom", he said.