1684001684 Zelenski to the Pope There can be no equality between

Zelenski to the Pope: “There can be no equality between victim and aggressor”

The President of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, landed in Rome on Saturday morning as the first stop on a short trip to Europe that will take him to Berlin and Aachen on Sunday, where he will receive the Charlemagne Prize. The Ukrainian leader first met with the President of the Republic of Italy Sergio Mattarella. Then he met Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. “It’s an important visit for our victory,” he said immediately after landing. This statement is in contrast to the idea he had about his third meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. According to the Pope himself, the Holy See has been working on a peace mission for months in order to reach an agreement that will put an end to the violent escalation. The problem, according to Vatican Secretary of State Paul Gallagher, is that the time doesn’t seem to have come yet. And that this plan does not appear to be shared by Zelenski, who asked Francisco to join his.

The words of the Ukrainian leader after the meeting with the Pope pointed in this direction. Zelensky pointed to one of the points where he disagrees with the equidistance line chosen by Francisco, which has earned him some criticism from Kiev. “I asked him [al Papa] to condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine. For there can be no equality between victim and aggressor. I have also spoken of our peace formula as the only effective algorithm for achieving a just peace. I proposed joining this implementation,” he said on his official Twitter account.

Zelenski, in his usual military attire (black jersey and green pants), was received at Ciampino Airport by Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani. He was then taken to the hotel where he is staying (Parque des Princes) and later taken to the Quirinal Palace, where he was received by Mattarella and sang the Ukrainian national anthem with his hand on his chest.

The Italian leader has always been a staunch Atlanticist, a staunch supporter of Ukraine’s position in this conflict and the need for support from NATO military forces. “It is my honor to receive you in Rome. I asked to see you again in this changed state after our colloquium years ago. We’re all by your side,” he began. “Italy was and is on the right side,” replied his counterpart.

Full melody with Meloni

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After Mattarella, Zelenski met with Meloni, a meeting that lasted about 70 minutes. It is the second time both heads of state and government are meeting – the first time was in Kiev – and they have the opportunity to show their full harmony. In fact, today the Prime Minister is one of the biggest supporters of supplying arms to Ukraine to promote victory against Russia. Or at least, as he often points out, to enable equal negotiations.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace in Rome on Saturday.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace in Rome on Saturday. ALBERTO PIZZOLI (AFP)

“Peace will be just only when Russia ends its hostilities. We are not so hypocritical as to describe peace as something that might resemble an invasion. Any peace agreement must be shared by Ukraine. And we will continue to support them militarily so that they can come to the negotiating table with a strong position. “The opposite would be dangerous for peace in Europe,” said the Prime Minister.

Meloni showed radical support for Zelenskyy’s position and his aspirations to join the European Union: “We have decided to play a crucial role in supporting Ukraine’s integration into the EU.” He also advocated joining NATO. The President of Ukraine thanked Italy for its help and responded, among other things, with the need to draw up a plan so that they can safely return to schools and universities. “Health, Education and Energy. The help we need now is to provide shelter for people who have been left homeless.”

At the end of Meloni and Zelenski’s joint appearance, which coincided with Our Lady of Fatima Day, the President of Ukraine traveled to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. The meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, took place as part of the Vatican’s peacekeeping mission to Ukraine, which the Pope announced on a flight back from his recent trip to Hungary. No details are known of that plan, although a Vatican source has told Russian media that the appointment “is not directly related to the mission” and that Zelenski asked to visit Francis “only a few days ago.”

The Vatican explained in a brief statement that “the topics of discussion with the Ukrainian President related to the humanitarian and political situation in Ukraine caused by the ongoing war.” The Pope has since February last year for his constant prayer cared for, which is shown in his constant public appeals and his constant pleading to the Lord for peace. Both leaders agreed in this brief document for the press that “humanitarian efforts and popular support” should continue. In fact, the Pope stressed the urgent need for “gestures of humanity” towards the most vulnerable people, the innocent victims of the conflict.

Zelenski himself announced his version of the meeting in the Holy See via his Twitter account. “I am impressed by your personal attention to the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians. I spoke to him about the tens of thousands of deported children. We must make every effort to bring them back home.”

The meeting was the first between the two since the beginning of the war, although they already knew each other because Francis received Zelenskiy in an audience on February 8, 2020 and they already on that occasion spoke “of the humanitarian situation and the search for peace” in the context of the conflict that has plagued Ukraine since 2014 with Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the war in Donbass. However, Francisco’s equidistant stance on the matter at times made the Ukrainian executive uneasy. Zelenskyy has invited the pope to visit Ukraine on several occasions, but Francis has always reiterated that he will not do so until he can do the same in Russia to maintain balance and build bridges between the two powers.

The Italian capital was armored on Saturday, with 1,000 agents deployed, a no-fly area and several sniper teams in areas Zelenski passed. The impressive security arrangement, which included tight patrols at the capital’s train stations and airports, included anti-terrorist squads, sniffer dogs and bomb squads. “And there will also be underground controls, with inspections of the sewage networks,” says the police headquarters.

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