Victor Yushchenko has taken part in a ceremony to decorate Javier Solana, Secretary General of the EU Council, with the Order of Yaroslav the Wise. Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Oleksandr Chalyy read out a decoration decree, according to the President`s press-office.

      The President said the Order of Yaroslav the Wise, one of the country’s highest awards, was given to those who contribute to the development of Ukraine and its international promotion. Such has been Javier Solana’s contribution since he was NATO secretary general, he said.

      “Ukraine appreciates your efforts aimed at improving relations between Ukraine and the European Union. We appreciate the dynamics of relations we have had in the past few years,” he said.

      Mr. Solana thanked the President for the award and praised the role he plays in promoting Ukraine’s image in the international arena.

      “I am convinced the citizens of Ukraine are the members of the European family,” he said. 

      Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Solana had met one-on-one before the ceremony to discuss prospects for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration.