Italy says to sign deal to rebuild Ukraine’s Odesa and its cathedral

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 10:55 AM

ROME (Reuters) – Italy will sign an agreement with Ukraine and the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO to rebuild the city of Odesa and its cathedral which was badly damaged by a Russian attack, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Wednesday.

Ukraine said the Orthodox cathedral was damaged when it was hit during a Russian missile attack on the country’s southern port city in July last year. Russia denied responsibility.

“On May 15 we will sign off on a deal with Kyiv and UNESCO here in Rome for the reconstruction of Odesa and its cathedral,” Tajani told a question time session in the lower house of parliament.

In February, Italy and UNESCO had already signed an agreement in Kyiv to provide 500 million euros ($534.45 million) towards the restoration of the roof of Odesa’s Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi, or Transfiguration Cathedral.

“As the G7 presidency, we continue to work for a just peace,” Tajani told lawmakers, adding that supporting Ukraine’s energy system was also a priority for Italy.

Rome holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations until the end of this year.

($1 = 0.9355 euros)

(Reporting by Matteo Negri and Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones)