2015-11-20 16:20:00

Ukrainian President Poroshenko: Ukraine and Vatican are now closer

(Vatican Radio) The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko  said on Friday that “today, Ukraine and the Vatican [have] come much closer.”

He was speaking to Vatican Radio after his meeting earlier in the day with Pope Francis.


“We spoke about Ukraine, we spoke about the peace in Ukraine,” President Poroshenko said.

“I received confirmation about His Holiness[praying] for Ukraine,” he said.

“This is exactly what we need now, because we need unity: Unity of the whole world, unity of Europe in front of the danger of the terrorist attack,” the President said, referring to last Friday’s shootings and bombings in Paris.

“We are shoulder to shoulder to our Paris friends, to our European friends,” he continued. “The same way we need the same level of solidarity, the same level of unity in supporting Ukraine in this very difficult time of the Russian aggression, and Russian occupation of the Crimea.”

President Poroshenko said the meeting was also something “very personal” for him.

“It was the pilgrimage for me, as a Christian in the Vatican - in the holy site - in the grave of St. Peter, and the icon of St. Vladimir and St. Olga – dedicated to the 1000th year of the Christianization of Kiev, Rus,” he said.

“All this emotion and all this impression helping me be the leader of the nation and keeping my nation together,” the President continued.  “But the most important thing is His Holiness Pope Francis blessing for Ukraine, praying for Ukraine, and demonstration of our unity.”

President Poroshenko also said he would like to see Pope Francis visit his country for the fifteenth anniversary of St. John Paul II’s visit in 2001.

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