Zelensky Turns Down Pope’s Offer to Mediate Conflict


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has rejected Pope Francis’ offer of mediation in the conflict with Russia, saying he has nothing to talk about with President Vladimir Putin.

Zelensky spoke to Italian media during a trip to Rome on Saturday where he met with the Catholic pontiff and senior Italian officials. The pope has repeatedly offered his help in mediating between Kiev and Moscow.

“I have a deep respect for his Holiness… The thing is, we have no need for mediators… We must work out an action plan that will secure a fair peace, a peace in Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

The pontiff welcomed the Ukrainian to the Vatican and received him privately in the Paul VI Audience Hall. A source at the Holy See told RIA Novosti that the meeting had been agreed at the last moment.

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