Ukrainian President Zelensky invites Pope to Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone with Pope Francis (pictured in December) Tuesday. The pope offered to mediate between Ukraine and Russia to help end the ongoing invasion and Zelensky invited him to visit the capital, Kyiv. File Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo

March 22 (UPI) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke Tuesday with Pope Francis, who offered to mediate with Russia to help end the invasion, as Italy’s prime minister voice support of Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.

Zelensky addressed the Italian Parliament Tuesday and urged the country’s lawmakers to freeze assets in that country owned by members of Russia’s elite.

“You know very well who orders troops to go to war and who propagates this. Almost all of them use Italy as a place to rest. Do not be a resort for murderers,” Zelensky said during the address.

Following Zelensky’s speech, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi publicly endorsed Ukraine’s membership bid to join the European Union.

“Told His Holiness about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blocking of rescue corridors by Russian troops. The mediating role of the Holy See in ending human suffering would be welcomed. He thanked for the prayers for Ukraine and peace,” Zelensky tweeted, after his conversation with Pope Francis.

He also invited the pope to visit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

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