5 Jun 2023 12:31

Vatican reports visit of Pontiff's rep to Kiev on June 5-6

MOSCOW. June 5 (Interfax) - Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, tasked by Pope of Rome Francis with a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine, will visit Kiev on June 5-6, the Ukrainian media said with the reference to the press service for the Holy See.

"Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, will visit Kiev on June 5-6, 2023, as an envoy of Holy Father Francis," the Vatican said.

"The main goal of the initiative is to closely listen to the Ukrainian authorities' vision of possible ways to fair peace and to support humanitarian gestures to promote de-escalation of tensions," it said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with the Pontiff in the Vatican on May 13. "Pope Francis tasked Cardinal Matteo Zuppi with heading a mission, coordinated with the State Secretariat, to promote de-escalation of tensions in the Ukraine conflict," the Vatican said after the meeting.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a meeting with Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is not currently part of Russian President Vladimir Putin's schedule.

"There is no [meeting with Zuppi on the president's schedule] at this point. We will tell you if there is," Peskov told reporters on Monday.

As to whether Zuppi might visit Russia after his trip to Kiev, Peskov said, "We know that he is going to Kiev first. We will keep you informed."