Pope Francis is willing to mediate Volodymyr Zelensky's meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, a Vatican diplomat says.
At the same time, the Pope is not aware of Zelensky's idea to hold the summit directly in Vatican, La Reppublica wrote, citing Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.
It is noted that the Vatican Congregation has no information on whether such meeting is being prepared, while believes that the Holy See could broker talks following the work of the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE).
Read alsoZelensky, Putin may discuss "revamp" for Minsk accords during meeting – TCG spokesmanAccording to Sandri, Pope Francis could attend the meeting between Zelensky and Putin to contribute to reconciliation.
Zelensky's offer to meet with Putin: Background
- In a televised address on April 20, 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to hold talks in Donbas.
- On April 22, 2021, Putin responded to the invitation by suggesting that Zelensky could discuss the Donbas issue with the "leaders" of the two self-proclaimed republics, the "LPR/DPR," adding that Moscow remained open for contact on any other issues.
- On April 26, 2021, Zelensky instructed Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak to arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It seems to me everything leads to the fact this meeting will take place," he said.
- Speaking in an interview for the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, Zelensky said he would definitely meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and the Vatican City could be a venue for this meeting. Zelensky also suggested his direct negotiations with Putin could prevent the escalation of Russia's aggressive actions.
- At the same time, the Novoye Vremya outlet suggested, citing informed sources, that the meeting between Zelensky and Putin may take place in Jerusalem or Vienna.