Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, is in Kyiv, Ukraine, to take part in an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which is currently underway.
The Council, opened by Ukrainian President Zelensky and chaired by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, seeks to promote dialogue between the 27 ministers and the Ukrainian authorities on how to ensure the EU’s continued support to Kyiv, also with a view to post-conflict reconstruction.
On the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council, attended by Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kuleba, Minister Tajani will hold bilateral meetings with the Ukrainian authorities.
Together with Ukrainian Minister of Culture Karandieiev, Tajani will also chair a meeting to discuss Italy’s patronage for the reconstruction of Odessa. The meeting will be attended by the Governor and the Mayor of Odessa, the President of Triennale di Milano Stefano Boeri, and the President of Fondazione MAXXI Alessandro Giuli, as well as trade associations and companies participating in the Interministerial Coordination Table for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Italy’s effort to safeguard artistic and cultural heritage will culminate in the country officially taking on the patronage for the reconstruction of the City and Region of Odessa with a joint statement by Deputy Prime Minister Tajani and Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmyhal.
“Italy wishes to lead the reconstruction efforts in Ukraine and especially in Odessa”, said Tajani, adding that “we want to offer our Ukrainian friends the very best of our country’s expertise and excellence in the field of restoration”.
The Italian project, launched last July in the hours following the destruction of Odessa’s Cathedral of the Transfiguration, aims to bring together Italian and international cultural institutions, architectural and engineering firms, companies and economic actors to discuss and work on the urban and architectural restoration of Ukraine’s cities and cultural heritage, creating a European hub for reconstruction that focuses on social infrastructures such as schools and cultural institutions.