22 Feb 2023 14:55

Zelensky favors participation of Italian businesses in reconstruction of Ukraine, Meloni supports Ukraine's integration with EU, NATO

MOSCOW. Feb 22 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has called for the involvement of Italian businesses in the Ukraine reconstruction project.

"I see this as an important element. This is an important message for Ukrainians who believe in us," the Ukrainian media quoted Zelensky as saying at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Kiev on Tuesday.

"The renovation of Ukraine will be a grand international project. There will be need for assistance of both the state and businesses," Zelensky said.

Ukraine and Italy signed a joint declaration in Kiev. "Ukraine and Italy reaffirm their commitment to stepping up joint efforts for further progress on the path of implementation of the EU and NATO standards and integration of Ukraine with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They also reaffirm the North Atlantic Alliance's commitment to the NATO Open Door Policy consistent with the NATO strategic concept of 2022 and the Madrid Summit declaration," the Ukrainian media quoted the statement as saying.

"Italy declares the readiness to play a key role in the reconstruction of Ukraine, in particular through the interagency donor coordination platform endorsed by Ukraine, G7, international financial institutions and other key partners, with the help of extensive, universally acknowledged experience of Italian companies in important sectors and cooperation in the provision of transparent, inclusive and reform-oriented process," the statement said.

The Ukrainian media quoted Meloni as saying at the press conference that Italy would organize a conference of national businesses in April to discuss the reconstruction of Ukraine.

"We will be working to arrange it. Italian companies have the know-how and competences they are ready to provide, because Italy seeks to play a palpable role in the Ukraine reconstruction process starting today," Meloni said.

The holding of EXPO 2030 in Odessa, for which Ukraine has applied, would send a special message to Europe, i.e. the message of "belief that everything will be alright in Ukraine," she said.