30 years ago, Ukraine and the Vatican established diplomatic relations

08 February, 13:40
Ukraine and world
30 years ago, Ukraine and the Vatican established diplomatic relations - фото 1
February 8, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Holy See.

This is reported by Vatican News.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Kyiv was founded in 1992 by Pope John Paul II. During this period, six Apostolic nuncios were replaced in Ukraine.

According to Ukrainian Ambassador to the Vatican Andriy Yurash, the establishment of diplomatic relations is the most important day not only for the modern Ukrainian diplomatic tradition but also for a whole range of relations between Ukraine and the civilized, democratic, Western world.

"His Holiness Pope Francis, and with him, all the fundamentally iconic and influential institutions of the Holy See, Is the most important factor without which it is simply impossible to imagine the configuration of world politics in any dimension. 30 years of a relationship is not just a date. This is an indicative and rather significant historical space filled with the work of diplomats on both sides", the ambassador commented on his Facebook page.

During these years, Ukraine was represented at the Vatican by Nina Kovalska (1998-2003), the late Grigory Khoruzhy (2004-2006), Tetiana Izhevska (2006-2019). On December 14, 2021, the president of Ukraine appointed Andriy Yurash as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Vatican.

The first apostolic nuncio to Ukraine was Archbishop Antonio Franco, who was appointed on March 28, 1992. Archbishop Mykola Eterovych was appointed his successor on May 30, 1999, and presented his credentials on August 31 of the same year. On April 22, 2004, Archbishop Ivan Yurkovich was Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, who served in Ukraine for almost seven years until 2011. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Thomas Edward Gullickson as his successor on May 21 of the same year. The fifth nuncio to Ukraine was Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, who was appointed on November 13, 2015, and transferred to the UK on July 4, 2020. Now the representative of the Pope and the Holy See in Kyiv is Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, who was appointed on June 15, 2021.

Over a 30-year period, important top-level visits have taken place.

In 2001, the Holy Pope John Paul II visited Ukraine, who, in turn, received Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. Victor Yushchenko was once received by Benedict XVI, while Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky were received by Pope Francis.

In addition, Ukraine was visited by state secretaries of the Holy See, and Prime Ministers of Ukraine came to the Vatican on official visits.