The press service of the Holy See called the meeting in the Vatican between Pope Francis and the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, who was in Rome on a working visit, a sincere negotiation. During the audience, issues related to the war in Ukraine were discussed, special attention was paid to humanitarian aspect and efforts to restore peace. The Ukrainian peace formula, assistance in the return of Ukrainian children deported by Russia to its territory, as well as various issues related to the life and activity of churches in the country were discussed.
The press service stated that the conversation between the head of the Ukrainian government and the Holy Father lasted for about half an hour, after which the delegation was introduced and gifts were exchanged.
Pope Francis presented a bronze cast of a budding flower with the inscription: “Peace is a delicate flower.” As well as special editions of the Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, the Document on Universal Human Fraternity, a photo album about prayer for the world affected by the pandemic, and a copy of the book “Encyclical on Peace in Ukraine”, which included all the statements of the Holy Father regarding the war that were made during the first nine months after the large-scale Russian invasion.
Denis Shmyhal presented a reproduction of the famous “Borodyan rooster”, a decorative product of the Vasylkiv majolica factory, which became a symbol of the indomitability of the Ukrainian people, decorated with ears of corn from Ukraine, and a photo album about the ongoing war in Ukraine and the resistance of the Ukrainian people.
After the meeting in the Vatican with His Holiness, Denys Shmyhal wrote in a telegram: “I told him how Ukrainians are forced to fight for their lives every day in the war started by Russia. We appreciate the efforts of the Holy See aimed at ending the war, and we believe that the best way to peace is the formula of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. We hope that the Vatican will participate in its implementation, in particular, in the process of returning captured and deported Ukrainians, restoring justice and fixing the end of the war.
He gave Pope Francis a photo album about Russia’s crimes in Buch, Borodyanka and other cities of Ukraine. This album clearly demonstrates the hatred and cruelty of the aggressor, which he brought to Ukrainian lands. He thanked His Holiness for the humanitarian aid, as well as for the treatment in the Vatican hospital of Ukrainian children who suffered from Russian aggression. Invited Pope Francis to Ukraine. We will be glad to welcome the Pontiff in these difficult times. We expect that the Holy See will use its influence to restore peace to all our lands.”
By the way, new figures were made public the other day: during the period of the full-scale invasion of the territory of our country, the Russian Federation kidnapped and criminally deported 20 thousand Ukrainian children to its territory.
The day before, the Ukrainian government delegation took part in the Ukrainian-Italian conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine, which once again testified: the allies are ready to support our country militarily, financially, politically and are interested in the implementation of reconstruction projects. Therefore, Ukraine, together with international partners, forms a strong and unwavering support for our state and attracts foreign business to the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the Russian occupiers.
Denis Shmygal met with the leadership of Italy in Rome. Current areas of cooperation were discussed, in particular in the financial, defense and sanctions spheres. “UK” has already informed that Italian President Sergio Mattarelli said that Italy will support Ukraine as long as it is needed.
After the meeting with the leaders of the Parliament of the Italian Republic, Denys Shmyhal wrote in a telegram: “We have the unquestionable support of both chambers. They discussed the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people. The relevant bill is already being prepared. Our Italian partners are aware that the Holodomor is one of the most terrible crimes that must not be repeated. They discussed the issue of economic and rapid recovery of our state. I received assurances of support for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, the peace formula of the President of Ukraine. I am grateful to the Italian Parliament for adopting decisions aimed at supporting Ukraine in the struggle for freedom and democracy.”
Denys Shmyhal visited the defense enterprise Rheinmetall Italia SpA, which specializes in the production of modern air defense systems. Among Rheinmetall’s developments is the Skynex short-range air defense system, which Ukraine is interested in.
“We need such an effective weapon to protect against drones that are being used by Russia to attack Ukraine. This will save dozens of lives and critical infrastructure for millions of people. Currently, such batteries are already on combat duty in Ukraine. We are considering the possibility of joint production of components of these systems. We are working on having more such effective means of air defense. They will create a reliable shield around our strategic infrastructure facilities,” the communications department of the Cabinet Secretariat quotes him as saying.
Returning to the conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine, it should be said about its results. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Italian Trade Agency signed a memorandum of cooperation. It will be an important step for creating new opportunities for Ukrainian exporters on the Italian market: revitalizing contacts, expanding the assortment of Ukrainian products on the shelves of leading Italian retail chains.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is consistently expanding partnerships with foreign specialized associations to help Ukrainian exporters to enter new foreign markets,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council signed a memorandum of cooperation with the most influential Italian agricultural associations Coldiretti and Filiera Italia. According to the notification of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the document provides for assistance to Ukraine in the process of demining agricultural lands, restoration of damaged agricultural machinery, support for bioenergy production and the use of the latest technologies for growing agricultural crops and cultivating fields.