Savchenko was granted the award in recognition of her fortitude in the struggle for human dignity and honour.
Savchenko, elected a lawmaker in 2014 while she was in Russian custody, was
released from prison in May in a prisoner exchange that was cast as a humanitarian gesture by the Kremlin.
In her address, Savchenko thanked Poland for its support of Ukraine. She stressed the two countries should start building a common future in friendship, peace and cooperation even though their common and long history was not always very easy.
Earlier the award was granted, among others, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Poland's former president and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, Marek Edelman (Warsaw Ghetto hero), Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, former Israeli PM Shimon Peres, and Boris Nemtsov.
The Karski Eagle Award was established in April 2000 by Jan Karski to recognise humanitarian service to others, with a special connection to Poland. Jan Karski, a young Polish Roman Catholic diplomat during the early days of World War II, witnessed first-hand the Nazis' treatment of the Jews in ghettos and concentration camps, and attempted to alert high-level government officials in Washington and London before it was too late. Karski remained in Washington, D.C., became an American citizen and taught at Georgetown University for nearly 40 years. Jan Karski, widely regarded as the "man who tried to stop the Holocaust," was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. (PAP)