Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in Rome on Saturday (May 13) for talks with government officials and Pope Francis, who in late April said that the Vatican is involved in a peace mission to end the war with Russia.
Zelenskiy, on his first trip to Italy since Russia invaded in February last year, is due to meet separately with President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni before heading to the Vatican. He is also expected to be the guest of a popular Italian television talk show before heading to Germany.
Meloni visited Zelenskiy in Kyiv in February to assure him of Italy's continued support for Ukraine, despite some of her allies, most notably former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, having longstanding, close ties with Moscow.
The meeting with the Pope is expected to be the most significant part of Zelenskiy's time in Italy. He previously met the Pope at the Vatican in 2020 and the two have had several phone conversations since the war began.