Important day on the Rome-Kiev axis. Zelenskyin visit to the Capitalmet the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarellahe first Melons e Pope francesco. “Firm support at 360 degrees”, military, financial, humanitarian, for reconstruction, with the aim of a “true peace and not a surrender” of Ukraine: this is how Italy welcomed the Ukrainian leader who thanked Mattarella and Meloni for this commitment. “You are on the right side of the war”, underlined Zelensky who then met Pope Francis in the Vatican. “I respect the Holy Father but we don’t need mediators. We need a just peace”, he underlined. And on Putin: “He is an isolated leader and he also kills his own people”.
Photogallery – Zelensky’s visit to Rome, an armored city
Mattarella: “The freedom of peoples is at stake” Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani welcomed him at the military airport of Ciampino, who then accompanied him to the Quirinale. To his interlocutor, wearing an ordinance military sweatshirt,
Mattarella he reiterated how high the stakes are in this conflict: “Not only the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine is at stake, but also the freedom of peoples and international order”. For this reason, Italy is “fully on the side” of Kiev, said the Head of State, who was keen to meet again
Zelensky after the face to face of “years ago, when conditions were different”. In fact, today there is an attacked country and an aggressor, responsible among other things for “a heartbreaking and ignoble practice” such as the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, Mattarella recalled, 200 thousand, according to Kiev.
“Military Aid for Kiev” Above all, supporting Ukraine means more “military aid” and Italy will continue to do its part, in cooperation with its NATO partners. This point has been clarified by
Palazzo Chigi. It is the only way, underlined the prime minister, “for Ukraine to arrive at the negotiations with a solid position, and not with a position of surrender”. The objective remains that of peace, which will be achieved “only and when Russia ceases hostilities”, clarified Giorgia Meloni, according to whom “the Ukrainians are also fighting for us”. In addition to weapons,
support to Ukraine will continue to be “360 degrees” and will pass from the reconstruction. In this challenge, Italy “wants to play a leading role”. And also given that Ukraine is an “outpost of security for the entire continent”, it is in Italy’s interest to “recognize Kiev’s legitimate European aspirations”, Meloni assured in the conversation that lasted over an hour and preceded by an embrace between “two friends”, underlined the premier.
From Zelensky a “hug to all Italians, one by one” Zelensky is aware of this help: “I will never forget it, thank you Giorgia”, the words of the Ukrainian leader, who addressed a symbolic “embrace to all Italians, one by one”.
The Ukrainian leader to the Pope: “No mediation, I’m not talking to Putin” After the stop at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, the last appointment in Rome for the Ukrainian leader was the long interview with Bruno Vespa and other journalists on the terrace of the Vittoriano. From here Zelensky announced “important steps in the near future” in that long-awaited counter-offensive which, according to him, is “the only way out” of the conflict. “You can’t mediate with Putin”, he assured, saying he was unwilling to talk to the Russian president and declining the Vatican’s offer to launch a peace mission.
“We need a counteroffensive” “I’m not willing to talk to Putin – he reiterated – the way out of the situation in Ukraine is the counter-offensive: when we get to the border with Crimea, support for Putin inside Russia will decrease and he will have to find a way out ‘exit. It’s not long now”. The Ukrainian president then said he was not “afraid” of a possible referendum in Crimea, however “it is against the Ukrainian constitution, they are our territories so we cannot hold a referendum on the territory of Crimea because we are talking about separatism” which is illegal. Zelensky also added that he knows “what’s going on in Crimea”, people “have lost everything and even the people who initially supported Russia are now against Moscow”.
“If Putin attacks Baltici your children in war” “I know that if Ukraine falls, the next step is Moldova and then the Baltic countries. Putin arrives there, maybe not Italy, but the Baltic countries are NATO members and you will have to send your children there to war”, recalled the Ukrainian leader.
“Xi told me they won’t supply weapons to Moscow” “I spoke with the Chinese leader, we discussed important issues, I said that we count on Beijing not to supply arms to Moscow. Xi replied that they will not supply arms and will not support Russia.
Zelensky’s statements, after the meeting with the Pontiff, have marked a gap that seems unbridgeable with that Vatican diplomacy which would like to bring the two parties, Ukraine and Russia, to sit around the same table.
Instead, the Ukrainian leader stressed that he had asked Pope Francis “to condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine, because there can be no equality between the victim and the aggressor”. “The peace plan must come from Ukraine,” Zelensky specified. And again: “I respect Your Holiness, but we don’t need a mediator between Ukraine and your aggressor”. Furthermore, Russia is not reliable and is led by Putin whom the leader of Kiev defines as “a small isolated leader who kills the Ukrainians and his people to defend his seat”.
At the end of the interviews, Zelensky also answered the question of whether he had the idea of evading the responsibility of president of Ukraine when the Russian invasion began, he who came from other experiences. “I managed to resist ea
don’t leave my seat“, her words.
The Ukrainian leader will go to Berlin on Sunday to renew the assistance pact with the allies, in a crucial phase of the war.
Zelensky: “In Rome we have become stronger” “Today in Rome. As always with such visits, we achieved a result. Today we have become stronger. I met the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. I am grateful to them for the political decisions to increase aid for Ukraine,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter at the end of the long day in Rome. “I am grateful to the political leadership of Italy and all Italians who help us and support Ukraine in our fight for a European way of life. Viva Italia! Glory to Ukraine!”.
“Thanks to the Pope, hope for our children” Zelensky then added. “I met Pope Francis. I hope this talk will have historic consequences for Ukraine. In particular, regarding the return of Ukrainian children home”.