Victor Yushchenko has met with Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, an American astronaut of Ukrainian descent, according to the President`s press-office.

The President said Ukrainians were happy and excited to know she was the first Ukrainian woman to perform a spacewalk.

“We are proud of the fact you excellently fulfilled your space mission,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko thanked Mrs. Stefanyshyn-Piper for “being loyal to the Ukrainian language and traditions and never forgetting Ukraine, even during the spaceflight.”

He was also interested to learn about her impressions of Ukraine.

“Ukraine will always be happy to welcome you and your family,” he said.

Then the President presented the astronaut with an Order of Princess Olga.