Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Pope Francis for giving "personal attention" to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, after meeting with the pontiff in Rome for the first time on Saturday.
"I emphasized there are tens of thousands of deported children, we must make every effort to bring them home," Zelensky said in a statement posted across his social media pages.
"In addition, I asked him to condemn Russian crimes in Ukraine. There can be no equality between victim and aggressor," he said.
Remember: The International Criminal Court in March issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
Zelensky also spoke to the Pope about his 10-point peace plan, saying it is "the only effective algorithm for achieving a just peace."
After the meeting, Zelensky told top editors of the Italian media in Rome that the Vatican sent a signal of support for the plan.
"This is important, and we are also supported by the Italian government, and many different countries," Zelensky said.
He added that Ukraine doesn't need a mediator in any potential talks with Russia.
"With all due respect to his Holiness … the issue is that we don’t need a mediator between Ukraine and an aggressor-country that has occupied our territories," he said. "We need to come up with an action plan to develop a fair peace in Ukraine and then we will invite the Vatican as one of the leaders to this format."
CNN's Mariya Knight contributed reporting.