European Union, Italy to resume diplomatic operations in Kyiv

The European Union and Italy have signaled that their diplomatic operations in Kyiv will resume after Russia’s invasion of its neighboring country led operations and facilities in the Ukrainian capital and elsewhere to close and relocate.

“With this visit, the European Union is returning back to Kyiv. I mean this literally: our Head of our Delegation is back here, so that we can work even more directly and more closely with the Ukrainian authorities,” European Union High Representative Josep Borrell, who had visited Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a statement.

Diplomatic operations had been temporarily moved to Rzeszow, Poland, following the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, according to the European Union (EU). The EU noted some staff will still be based in Poland.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Saturday during a press conference that Italy also intends to conduct diplomatic operations again in Kyiv.

“Ambassador [Pier Francesco] Zazo and our embassy have never left Ukraine — it is in Lviv, in the west of the country. But now the time has come to give a big signal to the Ukrainians … and thank them for kicking out the Russian troops from Kyiv,” the Italian foreign minister said, according to CNN.

The development comes as the Pentagon said earlier this week that Russian forces were regrouping to Russia and Belarus and completely withdrawing from the Kyiv and Chernihiv areas.

Russian forces have remained unsuccessful in seizing Kyiv, and a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that Russia has suffered “significant losses of troops.” 

But Dmitry Peskov, the Putin spokesperson, seemed to brush off Russia’s movements away from Kyiv and Chernihiv, saying Russia was acting in “goodwill.”

“It was a goodwill act to lift tension from those regions and show Russia is really ready to create comfortable conditions to continue negotiations,” he told Sky News.

Tags Dmitry Peskov Josep Borrell Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky

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