2020-02-10 11:58:00

Zelensky invites Pope to visit Ukraine

Kiev, February 10, Interfax - President Vladimir Zelensky has invited Pope Francis to pay a visit to Ukraine and see for himself the situation in Donbass.

Zelensky and his wife Yelena had an audience with the Pope in Vatican on Saturday, with the president noting the important role the Holy See could play in establishing peace on Ukrainian soil, the presidential office said on Saturday.

"The main thing we talked about was peace. [The Pope] even called me 'president of peace' - that is the image I now have in Europe," Zelensky said after the audience.

Francis is being eagerly awaited in Ukraine where he is enormously supported and trusted, he said.

"I have invited him to Ukraine. I am certain he will be in Ukraine, not just the capital. I said that to understand fully what is going on in our east, one needs to travel to the east," Zelensky said.

The president and the Pope also discussed humanitarian initiatives to help children and protect the environment. "I am infinitely grateful to His Holiness for the Pope for Ukraine initiative which aided 900,000 Ukrainians affected in Donbass," Zelensky said.