World: Guatemala president visits Ukraine at Zelensky's request

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Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei visited Ukraine on Monday at the invitation of his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to view the damage caused by Russia's invasion, the Central American country's government said.

This handout picture taken and released by Ukrainian Presidential press-service on July 25, 2022 shows Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) shaking hands with Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei following talks in Kyiv © STR This handout picture taken and released by Ukrainian Presidential press-service on July 25, 2022 shows Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) shaking hands with Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei following talks in Kyiv

The invitation to visit Ukraine came in June during a telephone conversation between the two presidents.

In a brief press release, Guatemala's communication secretariat for the presidency gave no details on when the visit began or how long it would last.

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Following Russia's initial invasion of Ukraine, Giammattei closed Guatemala's embassy in Moscow.

The Central American country exports nickel to Ukraine while importing iron and steel.


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Despite breaking off diplomatic relations with Russia, Guatemala continues to export coffee and bananas to the Eurasian powerhouse, while importing fertilizer, medical supplies and paper.

Following the June phone conversation, Giammattei said Zelensky wanted him to "see first hand the damage done in Ukraine and to be able to tell the world about it."

"We spoke about reconstruction in Ukraine, where they need laborers, and so he asked that Guatemalans travel to work in Ukraine," added Giammattei in a statement published by the state news agency.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 following months of rising tensions between the neighbors.

Like many countries affected by the war, Guatemala has since seen fuel prices shoot up.

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Ukraine ‘corrodes’ Russian forces in southern counteroffensive .
Ukraine started its counteroffensive in Kherson province by cutting off Russian supply lines to its forward positions.Ukraine also scored a diplomatic victory: Russia has agreed to lift its blockade of Black Sea ports to allow Ukrainian grain exports, which Ukraine estimates will bring in $10bn in much-needed revenue.

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