Seeking support for the Ukraine peace plan, President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Photo/AP
ROMA – President Volodymyr Zelensky have private talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican, seeking support for a peace plan Ukraine . In the past, Pope Francis has offered assistance to help end the full-scale war Russia launched a year ago.
Placing his hand over his heart, Zelensky said it was a great honor to meet the Pope. Meanwhile Pope Francis, using a cane because of a knee problem, came to greet the Ukrainian president before escorting him to the papal studio near the Vatican audience hall.
In a tweet after the 40-minute audience, Zelensky thanked Pope Francis for his personal concern for the tragedy of millions of Ukrainians. He said he spoke to the Pope about tens of thousands of Ukrainian children being deported.
“We must make every effort to return them to their homes,” he said as quoted by the Associated Press, Sunday (14/5/2023).
Zelensky also said he asked the pope to condemn Russia’s crimes in Ukraine because there is no resemblance between the victim and the assailant.
“I also talked about our Peace Formula as the only effective algorithm for achieving a just peace,” said Zelensky.
Later, in an interview on Italian state TV, the Ukrainian leader said the pope knew his position. War is going on in Ukraine, therefore it must be Ukraine’s plan to bring peace.
Zelensky’s 10-point plan would have created a special tribunal to try Russian war crimes. The plan will also create a Euro-Atlantic security architecture with guarantees for Ukraine, restore Ukraine’s damaged power infrastructure, and ensure security around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.
Instead, the Vatican said the two men spoke about Ukraine’s humanitarian and political situation fueled by the ongoing war.