Against the backdrop of the war and the biggest man-made disaster of the 21st century, negotiations were held between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the special representative of Pope Francis, cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi.
The parties discussed the interaction between Ukraine and the Vatican in the field of implementing the peace formula. Discussing the destruction of the Kakhovska hydroelectric power station, the president told the truth: this catastrophe is a war crime and ecocide. It is known that Matteo Zuppi arrived in Ukraine with a peacekeeping purpose, but the president defends our country without bargaining for its territories:
"The enemy will take advantage of the pause to build up its capabilities and further attack, to conduct a new wave of crimes and terror. Russia must withdraw all its troops from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders."
Zelenskyy argued that it was not concessions to Russia that could stop the war but international efforts to isolate the aggressor country and increase economic and political pressure on the Kremlin. The president thanked the Vatican and other states for their help in finding a peaceful solution, but the situation remains unchanged — no decisions about peace in Ukraine without the participation of Ukraine.
"We welcome the readiness of other states and partners to find ways to peace, but as the war continues on the territory of Ukraine, the algorithm for achieving peace can be Ukrainian only," Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The president called on Holy See to take part in the process of repatriation of Ukrainian children forcibly deported to Russia and to help restore justice.
At the conclusion of the negotiations, cardinal Zuppi handed the president a letter from Pope Francis. Its content has not yet been made public.