Zelensky considers the Vatican a perfect place to meet with Putin
Zelensky said this in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Ukrainska Pravda reports.
"The Vatican is truly an ideal place for a dialogue about peace. The Holy See is a global moral authority that always effectively acts as a mediator since it is impartial and inspires the trust of all participants in the conflict. It is for this reason that the Apostolic capital has often been referred to throughout our history to resolve conflicts between states and develop a peaceful future.
It is an Authority, and a sincere desire to help, and guarantees of responsibility. The pope is a prophet of peace by his vocation.
In this respect, the Vatican differs from other world players: it remains an exclusively moral force and always acts in a disinterested manner, without the military, political or economic interests.
An intermediary with such authority can provide the confidence that our attempts to negotiate lack.
Of course, the meeting place should inspire confidence on both sides. Then it will be effective, and we will really be able to talk to the point," he said.
The President is confident that the meeting with Putin will definitely take place. At the same time, he says that the question of how to achieve peace and how to reach an agreement is open yet.
"These are open questions, and we will get answers to them, in my opinion, immediately after direct consultations between the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation begin. For my part, I have already given all the relevant instructions on organizing consultations to the Head of the President's Office, Andriy Yermak.
It is clear that there has not been a real direct communication between Ukraine and Russia for a long time. This, of course, does not contribute to constructive negotiations. Therefore, it seems to me that the meeting, first of all, should take place in a territory that represents peace and dialogue.
In my opinion, a well-chosen venue for an extremely complex dialogue on peace will contribute to resolving the issue."
In October last year, the head of the presidential office, Andriy Yermak, held an undisclosed one-on-one meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See, in the Vatican.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin "anywhere in the Ukrainian Donbas" and assured that Ukraine is not afraid of Russia.
Putin instead offered to meet Zelensky in Moscow "at any convenient time" but refused to discuss the problem of Donbas. He insists that Kyiv should negotiate with the leaders of the so-called "republics".
Zelensky reiterated that he wants a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, emphasizing that the place of the meeting is not as important as its content.