Rome: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Rome on Saturday to meet Pope Francis and other political leaders. This is Zelenskyy’s first visit to Rome since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
He will meet Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, President Sergio Mattarella and travel to Vatican later on Sunday.
“Today in Rome. I’m meeting with President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni and the Pope. An important visit for approaching victory of Ukraine”, tweeted Zelenskyy following his arrival in Rome.
Italian state television reported that a no-fly zone was ordered for Rome skies and police sharpshooters were placed on high buildings as part of protective measures. This visit comes as the German government announced that it would provide Ukraine with additional military aid worth more than €2.7 billion ($3 billion), including tanks, anti-aircraft systems, and ammunition.
Pope Francis has often said that the Vatican stands ready to act as a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The upcoming meet will be the first time Zelenskyy and Pope Francis have met since Russia’s invasion. They last met in 2020.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis stated that the Vatican was working on a peace plan to end the war, saying that the mission was “not yet public. When it is public, I will talk about it.”
It was not clear how long Zelenskyy would be in Rome, it is speculated that he would also be planning a trip to Germany this weekend.