Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented the first prize of the Royal Institute of International Relations to President Viktor Yushchenko on Monday evening. The President was awarded for his significant contribution to improvement of international relations. The decoration ceremony, in which HRH the Duke of Edinburgh also participated, was held at the Mansion House in London.

The Queen presented the Ukrainian President with the prize, made of glass with a memory entry and the emblem of the Chatham House engraved on it.

"President Viktor Yushchenko's achievement as a statesman was his victory in the domestic political revolution whilst simultaneously dealing with neighboring states, who have sought to influence Ukraine's political and economic life", Director of the Chatham House Victor Bulmer-Thomas said, by way of grounding the choice of the prize recipient. As he added, "Viktor Yushchenko's adeptness in handling relations with other states has ensured that Ukraine, as a pivotal state in Eastern Europe and Russia's most important western neighbor, has not become the cause of a series deterioration in relations between Russia and Western Europe".

Speaking with the President before a ceremony, the Queen said this prize was a token of great respect for achievements of the Ukrainian nation. In his turn, Victor Yushchenko told Elisabeth II about Ukraine’s unique traditions and history.

Kateryna Yushchenko, wife of the President, also attended the ceremony.

The prize was established in 2005 to honor public figures for their contribution to the improvement of international relations. This award is made of glass containing a bullet.


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