Zelensky, Di Maio discuss situation in eastern Ukraine, Nord Stream 2.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has briefed Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on the security situation in eastern Ukraine and along Ukraine's borders and discussed with him the threats posed by the Nord Stream 2 project.

The meeting between the two took place in Kyiv on Thursday, June 10, the presidential press service reported.

Zelensky stressed the importance of increasing further international pressure on Russia, which has so far withdrawn only a small part of its forces and resources from Ukraine's borders and continues to block progress in a peaceful settlement.

"I thank Italy for supporting Ukraine in many areas, first of all, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country," Zelensky said.

Di Maio, in turn, assured Zelensky of Italy's full support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

According to the President's Office, both parties exchanged views on topical issues in the context of forthcoming international events, including the G7 and NATO summits.

Zelensky noted that the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project is, first and foremost, a security challenge for Ukraine and Europe.

"Preventing the launch of Nord Stream 2 is in the interests of Europe's energy security," he said.

Special attention during the meeting was paid to the issues of Euro-Atlantic and European integration of Ukraine. Zelensky stressed the importance for Ukraine to obtain a NATO Membership Action Plan and expressed hope that Italy would support Ukraine's efforts on the path to membership of the Alliance.

Zelensky noted that Ukraine is committed to reforms in the framework of the Association Agreement with the EU, and a clear European prospect will be an additional incentive to build a successful country.

Both parties discussed the development of political dialogue at the highest level, in particular the participation of the leadership of the Italian Republic in the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform and the events marking the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence.

The head of state praised the dynamic development of trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Italy.

"We have significant potential to create new success stories in our relationship," Zelensky said.

Zelensky and Di Maio also noted the important role played by the Ukrainian community in Italy in strengthening relations between the two countries.

Di Maio thanked Zelensky for providing important assistance to his country in the fight against the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Zelensky emphasized the importance of interpersonal ties between the peoples of the two countries and noted the need to take measures to restore tourism.

Di Maio made an official visit to Ukraine on June 10.

Photo credit: President's Office

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