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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Yushchenko gets award in London
Queen Elizabeth II and Viktor Yushchenko
The Queen presented Yushchenko with his award
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has received an award in London for the role he played in Ukraine's peaceful Orange Revolution last year.

He received the first Chatham House Prize from Queen Elizabeth II.

The prize honours an individual deemed to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations.

Mr Yushchenko said the prize recognised "the efforts made by my people in the course of many, many centuries".

Mr Yushchenko is also meeting UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to plan for an EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev. Ahead of his two-day visit Britain, Mr Yushchenko told the BBC there could be more Orange Revolutions - or peaceful protests for change - across the world.

He was swept to power in December 2004, following a re-run of rigged presidential elections.

EU aspirations

He is the first recipient of the prestigious award by Chatham House which was previously known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

In a speech, Mr Yushchenko said that "the courage and dignity of the Ukrainian nation deserves this kind of award".

He said that Ukraine's "new and young democracy faces new challenges", stressing that Kiev's strategic objective in foreign policy would be "the integration into the European Union and Nato".

He said he was glad to see that people are talking about Ukraine.

He added that he had had a "very warm" conversation with the Queen about developments in Ukraine.

BBC forum

The visit is being seen in Kiev as a sign that Ukraine's pro-Western aspirations are being taken seriously, the BBC's Helen Fawkes in the Ukrainian capital says.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko

But Mr Yushchenko faces serious problems at home, our correspondent adds.

Opinion polls show that his popularity has fallen significantly, and the coalition which was formed during the Orange Revolution has collapsed since the entire government was sacked last month, she says.

Speaking to BBC's Talking Point last week, Mr Yushchenko said his country had "set a good example for the millions of people who still cherish freedom and democracy".

He also said that an inquiry was closing in on the likely cause and perpetrators of the poisoning attempt on his life.

"There are more than 10 possible scenarios which the investigators are looking at," he told interviewer Bridget Kendall.

He said the Orange Revolution had brought new "freedom and democracy" to the Ukraine but also put the country on the world map.

"It is pleasing that Ukraine is now known all over the world. We have given the world a wonderful example of human behaviour," he said.

The Ukrainian president was responding to questions submitted by BBC listeners and website users.


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