2020-02-10 11:55:00

Zelensky asks Pope to help with release of Ukrainians in custody in Russia, Donbass

Kiev, February 10, Interfax - Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has discussed at a meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican the peaceful settlement in Ukraine.

"Pope Francis does his utmost for the achievement of peace and harmony all over the world. Two months after the Normandy [Four summit] in Paris, I asked [him] to help with the release of Ukrainians held captive in Donbas, Crimea, and Russia. I am inspired by our conversation about peace in Ukraine," Zelensky posted on Twitter on Saturday.

The presidential office released several photographs from Zelensky's audience with the Pope.

Later on Saturday, Zelensky held a meeting with Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, which was attended by Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallacher.

The president stressed Ukraine's striving for peace and asked the Holy See and Pope Francis personally to support and assist with reaching a peaceful settlement and ending the war in Donbass, the presidential office stated.

Zelensky also noted the productive cooperation since Ukraine and Vatican established diplomatic relations 28 years ago today, and the visit was symbolically timed to coincide with this anniversary.

"Ukraine is ready to develop closer cooperation with the Holy See. We share common values and a common vision of the future," Zelensky said.