During a working visit to the Republic of Turkey, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena took part in a prayer service for Ukraine and visited the Patriarchal Church of St. George. After that, the Head of State and the First Lady met with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The Patriarch thanked for the visit of the presidential couple to the Mother Church, which, in his words, "brings great joy," and noted that he was comforted by the fact that peace is gradually coming to Ukraine.
The Head of State thanked His All-Holiness for his unconditional personal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, our independence, as well as for all the support that the Patriarch provides to Ukraine.
"I am grateful for everything you have done and do for Ukraine. Such support on the path to peace is important to us. Ukraine is warm and friendly. We will all be very happy to welcome you, it will be a very important visit for Ukraine," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Patriarch noted that he would be glad to visit Ukraine when the epidemic situation is stabilized. The parties considered the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence as a possible date for the visit.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the situation in Donbas was discussed in detail during a meeting with His All-Holiness in vis-a-vis format.
"It is difficult, but there are steps forward. Before your arrival, we will have the opportunity to advance on the path to peace. And the main thing is the captvies in Donbas, in Crimea and in Russia. I really want them to return home,” the President emphasized.
"I want it with all my heart. To stop the pain of families whose relatives are in captivity," His All-Holiness said.
The interlocutors discussed further steps to strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Patriarch Bartholomew presented memorable gifts to the presidential couple.
This is the second visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.