Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 34

The human rights organization Freedom House has awarded Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma its annual Freedom Award for his foreign and domestic policies. Among Kuchma’s merits, Freedom House listed his contribution to regional stability, cooperation with international organizations including NATO, promotion of interethnic consensus, and his guarantees of the rights of Russian, Crimean Tatar, Jewish, and other ethnic minorities living in Ukraine. The award will be presented to Kuchma during his impending visit to the United States. (12) The award also implicitly underscores Ukraine’s rapidly growing political importance in the region. The annual Freedom Award is one of the most coveted international awards given to political leaders. Previous recipients include U.S. and western European presidents and prime ministers, as well as such political figures from formerly Communist countries as Milovan Djilas, Vaclav Havel, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov, and Sergei Kovalev.

Turkmenistan and Turkey Agree to Massive Gas Deal, Strengthen Overall Ties.