Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was certain he will visit the White House and meet United States President Donald Trump, and has invited him to Kyiv.
“I am sure it will happen. The last time I met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we talked about it, and said that I would very much want my visit to America to be something special for the two countries. With some very important result for the two countries. Something beneficial for the two countries,” Zelensky said during the 56th Munich Security Conference on Saturday, when asked if he had a specific date for the White House visit.
The president said he wanted to re-start the relations with the U.S. “with a clean slate.”
“After all this Santa Barbara…about the impeachment…I want to come and start our relations with a clean slate, so that we agree and sign some contracts, agree strategic things, investment things. Let’s prepare a package of such documents and meet. So now the ball on the U.S. president’s court, but we are always happy to see them all in Ukraine. So I am ready to invite, and I am inviting, President Trump to Kyiv.”
He also commented on the blocking of U.S. military aid.
“We needed that aid, we needed a tactical win in this story, without the souring of our relations with the U.S. So, tactically is how I am thinking about Ukraine. Always. And, honestly, I’ll tell you this: sometimes I reply not how I want to, but in the way necessary for Ukraine. So, my body, my brain, my eyes belong to the Ukrainian people,” Zelensky said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska have been granted an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City State on Saturday, during which Zelensky invited Pope Francis to visit Ukraine in order to see the situation in Donbas, according to the press service of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
During the meeting, the head of state said that the Holy See could play an important role in bringing peace to Ukraine.
“The main thing we talked about is peace. He [Pope Francis] even called me “president of peace” – this is my image in Europe now,” Zelensky said after the audience.
He also noted that His Holiness Pope Francis is very much welcome in Ukraine, where he enjoys extremely high support and trust.
“I invited him to Ukraine. I am sure he will visit Ukraine – not only its capital. I said that one should visit eastern Ukraine in order to fully understand what is going on there,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky and Pope Francis also discussed humanitarian initiatives to help children and protect the environment.
“I am extremely grateful to His Holiness for the “Pope for Ukraine” initiative, which helped 900,000 war-stricken Ukrainians in Donbas,” Zelensky said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will make a working visit to Israel through January 23-24 to take part in the events as a part of the World Holocaust Forum, the President’s Office reported. “Through January 23-24, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will make a working visit to Israel to take part in the commemoration events as a part of the World Holocaust Forum devoted to the 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp,” reads the report.
The program also foresee talks of Zelensky with the Israeli leadership and a meeting with the country’s business leaders.
Around 1.5 million foreign tourists and 2.2 million Ukrainian tourists visited Kyiv in January through September, 2019, Kyiv City Council has reported.
“According to the Tourism Promotion Department of Kyiv City State Administration, 1.5 million foreign tourists visited the capital over the review period. Around 2.2 million Ukrainian tourists also visited Kyiv. The city received tourism fees in amount of UAH 61 million,” reads the statement on the city council’s website posted on December 11.
The report on the implementation of the targeted program for tourism development in Kyiv over nine months in 2019 reads that the municipal authorities regularly control the quality of services provided for tourists in the capital city. In particular, a working group was created to check hostels.
“Regular checks are held at the hostels that raise concern according to the approved schedule. We have checked 105 such facilities. Only around a dozen of hostels regularly pay taxes, tourism fees and meet the sanitary standards,” the chairman of the standing commission for culture, Viktoria Mukha, said.
According to the report, a range of large-scale events were held in Kyiv over the first nine months of the year to attract tourists, including Moto Open Fest, Kyiv Food & Wine Festival, Courage Bazaar, Atlas Weekend, Kyiv Art Week.
The tourism department also participated in five international exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad, in particular in Serbia, Azerbaijan, London and Dublin, with the aim of improving Kyiv’s tourism attractiveness.
The mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), working in Ukraine during November 14-22, has said that it had constructive and fruitful discussions with representatives of Ukrainian authorities, although more discussions in the near future are needed for signing the Staff Level Agreement.
The mission has made significant further progress in discussions regarding measures and reforms that could form the basis of a new program supported by the IMF. Discussions will continue in the coming weeks, mission Head Ron van Rooden said in a statement released on Saturday.
Among the necessary steps discussed are measures in the monetary, fiscal and financial sectors, as well as reforms aimed at improving the business climate, strengthening the rule of law and boosting economic growth.
According to the statement, the IMF mission commended the significant progress made over the past few months towards reform and adhering to a balanced economic policy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has begun a working visit to Japan; he will attend the ceremony of the new Japanese emperor’s enthronization amongst other events, the Office of the Ukrainian President said in a statement on Facebook. “The visit program includes the chief of states’ meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, heads of both chambers of the Japanese parliament, members of the Japan-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Association, heads of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Association of New Economy, and representatives of the Japanese business community,” the statement said.
The work schedule of the Ukrainian president also includes a series of bilateral meetings with foreign leaders, it said.