Ukraine: Italy reopens embassy in Kyiv

Ambassador Zazo and team return to Ukrainian capital.

Italy has reopened its embassy in Kyiv, after it moved temporarily to Lviv in western Ukraine in early March as Russian forces advanced on the capital.

Over the Easter weekend Ambassador Pier Francesco Zazo and his staff returned to the Kyiv embassy which is operational once again from Monday 18 April.

The news was announced by the Italian foreign ministry which said on Twitter that "Italy stands by Ukrainian institutions and reaffirms the commitment to assist Italian nationals, promote dialogue and support solutions towards peace and the end of hostilities."

Ambassador Zazo "will be working with Ukrainian institutions for diplomacy and to reach at least a ceasefire", said Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, recalling that the Italian embassy had been "among the last to leave the Ukrainian capital and is now among the first to return".

"The reopening of our embassy in Kiev represents for us an exciting and hopeful moment more than 50 days after the beginning of the conflict", said Ambassador Zazo, who added: "Today we feel even closer to the government and the Ukrainian people and we will continue to assist our compatriots in the best possible way."

Di Maio thanked Zazo and his staff "for their courage and dedication", including for their work in Lviv over recent weeks, stating that of the "2,000 Italians" to be evacuated there are "139 left."

For information about the Italian embassy in Kyiv see website. Photo ANSA