Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo visited the city of Dnipro, in south-east Ukraine, accompanied by a delegation from the Embassy. In talks with Governor Serhiy Lysak and Mayor Borys Filatov, the Ambassador recalled the Italian government’s all-round commitment to Ukraine, highlighting in particular the attention paid to the Dnipropetrovsk region, an area brimming with assets of excellence in the aerospace, defence, agri-food and metallurgy industries.
Indeed, Dnipro is home to the two main Ukrainian state-owned enterprises in the aerospace sector, Yuzmash and Yuzhnoye, which maintain an important collaboration with Avio and other Italian companies, as evidenced by numerous engineering cooperation agreements signed even in the context of Russian aggression. “Italy will be a spokesman for the need to include the strengthening of the aerospace sector in the Ukrainian recovery plans that are being defined with Western Partners”, said Ambassador Zazo, also recalling the bilateral Memorandum in force between the Italian Space Agency and its Ukrainian counterpart.
During the visit, the Honorary Consulate of Italy in Dnipro was officially opened, the second in Ukraine after the one in Odessa. “The construction of an honorary consular network is aimed at creating a solid basis for the deepening of bilateral economic relations between Italy and Ukraine, laying the groundwork for the opportunities that will open up for the reconstruction of the country, which will necessarily have to rely largely on private investment from abroad”, stressed the Head of Mission during the inauguration ceremony, in the presence of the local authorities and a large business community. The Honorary Consul, Andriy Zdesenko, is an established professional, holder of the BioSphere production plant, based in Dnipro and present in 30 countries, recently renovated with a EUR 20 million investment in Italian machinery.
During the visit, attention was paid to the humanitarian dimension: the Dnipropetrovsk region is close to the areas occupied by the Russian Federation and is home to more than 500,000 internally displaced persons, 100,000 of whom are minors, with consequent pressure on the social and educational system. Civilians are frequently intoxicated in the area due to rocket and artillery detonations, and there is frequent shortage of drinking water due to damaged aqueducts. Ambassador Zazo visited one of the hospital clinics that serve as the first stabilisation point for the seriously wounded coming from the front, highlighting the presence of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Ukraine and the imminent launch of humanitarian activities connected with the new emergency call, as well as a bilateral programme in the health sector.