Vitaly Klitschko visited Washington to hold a speech at the event dedicated to the late US Senator John McCain. A number of famous American politicians – senators, congressmen, and representatives of the US government, attended the event.
The commemoration event was organized by the International Republican Institute (IRI), which was headed by the Senator McCain for 25 years.
“It is a great honor for me to be here, as Udar party has a long-lasting and effective history of cooperation with IRI. The support of IRI was very important in the period of creation and development of our political power. IRI was also with us and with Ukrainian democratic forces during the difficult time in the history of Ukraine – when Ukrainians were defending the right of their state to choose European democratic way of development,” Klitschko noted.
He reminded that John McCain visited Kyiv during the Revolution of Dignity in December 2013
“This was one of the hardest periods of our struggle. I will never forget the speech of Senator McCain on Maidan. At that time, he addressed hundreds of people in Ukrainian: “Америка з вами!”(“America is with you!).” It was a very important signal that American people and their leaders support our striving for freedom. At the same time, John McCain has always stressed that it is Ukrainians who should decide the future of their country,” Klitschko said.
Kyiv Mayor noted that McCain was a real friend of Ukraine, who supported it in the fight against Russian aggression – he headed the work of the Senate concerning help to Ukraine and imposing sanctions against Russia.
“Friendship with John, our numerous conversations, his resilience, and resolution was an important example for me. As a politician, I learned a lot from him. Because, both in sports and politics, you have to fight to win, fight for principles and goals, no matter how hard it is, and never give up!” Klitschko said.
At the event, the International Republican Institute has granted the Freedom Award to the Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Cindy McCain – the wife of John McCain, who supports the humanitarian organizations in the United States and other countries.
The Freedom Award was established in 1995 to honor individuals who have worked to advance freedom and democracy in their countries and around the world. The contribution of these individuals in furthering democracy and freedom has given hope to millions of people and has helped improve the lives of people around the globe.
Over the years, honorees have included luminaries such as President Ronald Reagan; President George H.W. Bush; President George W. Bush; Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Laureate and Burmese democracy leader; Natan Sharansky, former political prisoner and human rights activist; and former secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz and James A. Baker.