Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis in which he insisted that the raging Russia-Ukraine war does not need “a mediator” but "peace”. The Ukrainian President held talks with the sovereign of the Vatican and asserted that it was a great honour to meet the pontiff, South China Morning Post reported. The Pope has previously called for the end of the war, ever since it started in February last year.
“With all due respect to the pope, the thing is that we don’t need mediators between Ukraine and the aggressor who has occupied our territories, but an action plan for a just peace in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian President told Pope Francis on Sunday. According to the written statement shared by the Vatican, the meeting was 40 minutes long. “The pope assured his constant prayer, paid witness to by his many public appeals and by his continued invoking of the Lord for peace, since February of last year,’’ as per the the statement. “Both agreed on the need to continue humanitarian efforts. The pope underlined, in particular, the urgent need for ‘humanitarian gestures’ toward the most fragile persons, innocent victims of the conflict."
Prior to his meeting with the Pope, the Ukrainian President met with Italian officials during his trip to Rome. “The message is clear and simple,” Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni asserted at a joint press conference with Zelenskyy. “The future of Ukraine is a future of peace and freedom. And it’s the future of Europe, a future of peace and freedom, for which there are no other possible solutions,” she added.
The Italian premier met Zelenskyy in February this year, just ahead of the anniversary of the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war. In the joint press conference, Meloni insisted that Italy would back Ukraine “360 degrees for all the time necessary and beyond,” SCMP reported. During his visit to Rome, the Ukrainian President also met his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella at the presidential Quirinale Palace. “We are fully at your side,″ Mattarella told Zelenskyy. Since the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war, Italy has furnished about €1 billion in military and financial aid to the war-stricken country.