The president thanked for this important award underlying that the Person of the Year title actually goes to each and every Ukrainian who is defending the choice of his country today.
“The Person of the Year is a Ukrainian. Your whole nation who has stood up for its choice. And it is supported by all free European citizens. Twenty five years ago we, Lithuanians, also had to defend our choice. Therefore we support and understand you today. You all are heroes, because you are fighting for your own future and for peace in the whole of Europe,” the president said.
According to the president, Lithuania has always supported Ukraine in the fight for its European democratic future. Ukrainian people see and value our support. Therefore, this award is the recognition of the efforts and support of all the people of Lithuania.
The Person of the Year title was bestowed on the president of Lithuania by the Ukrainian Higher Academic Council which consists of eminent public figures, experts in various fields. The president received the title for her active support to Ukraine’s democratic aspirations and consistent defence of the Ukrainian interests at the highest international level.
The Person of the Year title is given to outstanding representatives of politics, culture and arts for their contribution to strengthening the Ukrainian independence, supporting and promoting Ukraine, its people, history and traditions.
Former recipients of this award include Pope John Paul II, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and US Senator John McCain.
Ukraine’s Person of the Year awards date back to 1995. Their author is public figure Arkady Raytsin. Currently prizes are awarded in more than ten different categories.