Lithuania’s 2022 Freedom Prize was presented to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via Petro Beshta, Kyiv’s ambassador in Vilnius, at a ceremony hosted by the parliament on January 13, the Day of Freedom Defenders, Report informs referring to LRT.
In his video address to the award ceremony, Zelenskyy thanked the people of Lithuania for their support for Ukraine.
“I want to thank you for not betraying freedom for a minute – and not only in these 323 brutal days of Russia’s inhuman war, when we have felt your support all the time,” the president said via video link from Kyiv.
“And in many years since the free hearts of Lithuanians and Lithuania’s path to a united Europe inspired countless people in various countries once enslaved by Russia. Lithuania has been, and I am sure still is, one of the sincerest defenders of freedom, and this is the best tribute to the heroes who defeated the empire in those winter days 32 years ago,” he said.
The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, awarded its 2022 Freedom Prize to Zelenskyy as the leader of Ukraine which is fighting for its freedom and independence.
The Freedom Prize was established by the Seimas in 2011 to honor “individuals and organizations for their achievements in and contribution to the defense of human rights, development of democracy, and promotion of international cooperation for the cause of self-determination and sovereignty of the nations in Eastern and Central Europe”.
The prize, which amounts to 5,000 euros, is presented every year on January 13, when Lithuania marks the Day of the Defenders of Freedom.