The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhalasked this Thursday to Pope Franciscowith whom he met for half an hour in the Vatican, help so that the children taken by force to Russia can return to the country and once again invited the pontiff to go to visit Ukraine.
Shmyhal explained in a press conference that with Francisco he spoke about the peace plan what the president has said Volodomir Zelensky and “possible steps the Vatican could take to help bring about peace.” He did not give details.
“For example, I have asked for assistance from the Vatican and the Pope for the restitution of the children who were taken by force by Russia and I have also invited the Pope to visit Ukraine,” he explained at the headquarters of the Foreign Press Association in Rome.
The International Criminal Court last month issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children Maria Lvova-Belova, charging them with war crimes for kidnapping children in Ukraine. Russia has denied any wrongdoing, claiming the children were moved for their safety.The pontiff has repeatedly denounced the war in Ukraine, which began 14 months ago with the Russian invasion of its neighboring country. He has expressed his desire to visit both Ukraine and Russia in the hopes of improving the prospects of peace.
For its part, the press office of the Holy See explained that during the meetings that the prime minister held in the Vatican “the various issues related to the war in Ukrainepaying special attention to the humanitarian aspect and efforts to restore peace”.
In the same context, various issues related to the life and the activity of the Churches in the country”, reads the statement.
After the meeting with the Pope, which lasted half an hour, the prime minister presented the pontiff with a reproduction of a ceramic jug depicting a rooster, which they found in a house near kyiv after a bombing raid next to ears of wheat from the Ukraine and also offered a book of photos about the ongoing war and the endurance of the Ukrainian people.
For his part, the pontiff donated a bronze that represents a blossoming flower with the inscription “Peace is a fragile flower”, to which the prime minister replied that we know very well what the fragility of peace means, thus the Message for the World Day of Peace this year, other documents and the book “An encyclical on peace in Ukraine”, which contains the messages that the Pope has delivered to ask for an end to the war.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolín.
The Prime Minister participated on Wednesday in a conference in Rome organized by the Italian government to bring together companies willing to participate in eventual reconstruction projects in Ukraine.
“I have asked both the leaders of Italy and those of the Holy See to help Ukraine to continue the work of the unrestricted grain corridors,” Shmyhal declared.
Shmyhal met yesterday with the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloniand participated in the reconstruction conference organized by Italy on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister also did not want to venture what might happen next in relations between Ukraine and China. Zelensky said on Wednesday that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had had a “long and meaningful” phone call.
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