Former Soviet dissident, political prisoner and Israeli politician Natan Sharansky will receive the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan will present the award to Sharansky on June 4 during a dinner gala at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.
''My husband once said that Natan's devotion to the cause of freedom was a symbol of man's highest aspiration. His release from a Soviet gulag was one of the most rewarding events of Ronnie's presidency,'' Mrs. Reagan said in a statement.
Sharansky was freed in 1986 as part of an East-West prisoner exchange orchestrated by Reagan. Sharansky moved to Israel and eventually served as minister and deputy prime minister.
''Fewer and fewer people can remember the world of Communism and even fewer can appreciate that its demise could never have happened so quickly and so peacefully without the moral clarity, courage and vision which President Reagan brought to the world agenda of international relations,'' Sharansky said in a
He is the 10th recipient of the award, presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation for extraordinary contributions to the cause of freedom worldwide. Past recipients include Mikhail Gorbachev, Colin Powell, Yitzhak Rabin, Margaret Thatcher, Billy Graham, Rudolph Giuliani, Bob Hope and George H.W. Bush.