the ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Rome this Saturday to meet with the Pope Franciscothe president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, and the prime minister Giorgia Meloniin what he defined as an “important visit” for the “victory” of his country in the war against Russia.
Zelensky began his round of meetings with a meeting of about half an hour with Mattarella at the Quirinale Palace, where he was received with military honors and the Ukrainian flag raised while hymns played. “Welcome President, Italy is completely by your side”Mattarella told him upon receiving it.
“Rome. Meetings with the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis. An important visit to get closer to the victory of Ukraine”raised the visitor upon arrival at Ciampino airport in the Italian capital.
According to Vatican sources, the Ukrainian president will see the Pope in the local afternoon in a room of the Paul VI Hallin a context of reserved negotiations by the Holy See to achieve a rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia, and after the public announcement by the pontiff that the Vatican will mediate to achieve the restitution of thousands of children that Kiev denounces were deported from the country.
Since the start of the war, the Pope and the president have spoken by phone at least twice, according to what Francis revealed in dialogue with journalists. Zelensky had already visited the Pope in 2020.
For now, instead, Francis did not speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin, although he showed his willingness to contact the president and hinted at the Kremlin leader’s rejection of a meeting. Last Thursday, the Pontiff received the Russian ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Avdeev, for the traditional farewell visit.
Weeks ago, Jorge Bergoglio had received Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhalin the first high-level bilateral between the two countries since the start of the Russian invasion.
For now, Francis has not gone to kyiv since the beginning of the war, since it seeks to be able to make a joint visit to Moscow, while Meloni visited the Ukrainian capital in February.
Two weeks ago, the right-wing premier also received Shmyhal to launch a forum with which seeks to involve Italian companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.