Zelenskyy receives backing in Rome, $3 billion in aid from Berlin « Khabarhub
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Zelenskyy receives backing in Rome, $3 billion in aid from Berlin


14 May 2023  

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ROME: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received vocal backing from Italian leaders in Rome as Germany announced a $3 billion military aid package for Kyiv, ahead of a meeting the Ukrainian leader will have with German leaders in Berlin on Sunday.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella told Zelenskyy during his visit to Rome that “we are fully at your side.” Italian sources said Mattarella later assured the Ukrainian leader that Rome would continue to aid the country with military, economic, and humanitarian assistance.

The Ukrainian leader later met with 86-year-old Pope Francis at the Vatican, where they discussed aid for the victims of the Russian invasion.

Zelenskyy presented the pope with a bulletproof vest that had been used by a Ukrainian soldier and later painted with an image of the Madonna.

“The meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes, focused on the humanitarian and political situation in Ukraine,” the Vatican press service said.

The pontiff last month told reporters that the Vatican was involved in a peace mission to try to end the conflict triggered by Russia’s invasion.

But when asked by Italian TV about the pope’s efforts, Zelenskyy said, “With all respect to the pope, the thing is that we don’t need mediators between Ukraine and the aggressor who has occupied our territories, but an action plan for a just peace in Ukraine.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also hosted Zelenskyy for a working lunch at her official residence at the Chigi Palace in Rome where he was received with military honors.

Speaking beside Zelenskyy, she said that “we are betting on Ukraine’s victory,” adding that Italy will support Kyiv “for as long as necessary” against Russia’s “brutal and unjust aggression.”

In Berlin, the German Defense Ministry announced a new package of military equipment for Ukraine worth $3 billion.

“We all hope for a rapid end to this terrible war by Russia against the Ukrainian people, but unfortunately this is not in sight,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement.

The package includes 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, 30 Leopard 1 tanks, 15 Gepard antiaircraft tanks, 200 reconnaissance drones, four additional Iris-T antiaircraft systems including ammunition, additional artillery ammunition and more than 200 armored combat and logistics vehicles.

Zelenskyy arrived in Berlin over the weekend, according to his Twitter account. While in Germany, he is expected to meet in the capital with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and travel to the city of Aachen to receive a prestigious award.

(VOA)

Publish Date : 14 May 2023 09:01 AM

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