by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen upon receiving the Order of Liberty from President Poroshenko of Ukraine
Thank you very much indeed Mr President - it is a great honour for me to receive this Order of Liberty. I really admire the courage of the Ukrainian people and its desire for freedom.
I'd like to convey my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in your struggle for freedom. And I'd like to convey my sympathy with the Ukrainian people who's suffering so much in these challenging times.
Mr President, I can assure you that we stand by Ukraine and your struggle to uphold the fundamental principles on which we've built our free societies. When NATO was established 65 years ago we established our defence alliance in order to protect and promote the fundamental values on which we've built our societies: individual liberty, democracy and the rule of law.
We appreciate the distinctive partnership we have between Ukraine and NATO. And I look forward to further developing it in coming years. We uphold the principle that each and every nation has the right to decide its own future.
Mr President, this decoration will encourage me to continue my fight for freedom. Let the flame of freedom continue to burn in Ukraine!