Zelensky Arrives in Italy for Assembly With Pope


Days after Pope Francis bewildered the Ukrainian authorities with speak of a secret peace mission, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine arrived in Rome on Saturday for conferences with Francis and Italian officers, together with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Mr. Zelensky’s go to comes at a probably pivotal second within the warfare towards Russia, as Ukrainian forces make advances close to the important thing japanese metropolis of Bakhmut forward of a broadly anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The Vatican confirmed that Francis would meet with Mr. Zelensky on Saturday. The 2 met in Rome for an official go to in 2020 earlier than the outbreak of the warfare, however Francis has declined varied invites from the Ukrainian authorities to fulfill Mr. Zelensky in Ukraine.

Francis has acknowledged that, in his hopes of ultimately enjoying the function of peacemaker, he needed any go to to Ukraine to be at the side of a go to to Moscow, however President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has repeatedly made it clear that he needed no such go to.

In current weeks, the pope has sought to thrust himself into the dialogue a few potential peace in Ukraine. On a flight again from Hungary final month, Francis talked cryptically about “a mission occurring now, however it’s not public but” to carry peace, including “when it’s public I’ll discuss it.”

The Kremlin responded by saying it had no thought what the pope was speaking about. And Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, mentioned, “Ukraine doesn’t find out about it.”

Mr. Zelensky didn’t depart Ukraine for the primary 10 months of the warfare and his preliminary journeys outdoors the nation — together with to Britain, France and the US — had been uncommon. In current weeks, nonetheless, he has visited The Hague and Finland, and is predicted to journey subsequent to Germany.


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