The pontiff called the war in Ukraine a world war and said that Russia would not negotiate because of imperial interests.
Pope Francis planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the second day of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, but the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov refused his request. The pontiff spoke about this in an interview with Vatican News, published on March 10.
“On the second day of the war, I came to the Russian embassy at the Holy See and said that I was ready to go to Moscow if Putin would give me a window for negotiations. Lavrov wrote to me saying thank you, but now is not the time,” said the pontiff.
According to him, Russia will not negotiate because of imperial ambitions. In addition, the Pope said that the war in Ukraine is all-out, as all major states are involved in it.
“In a little over a hundred years, there have been three world wars: 14-18, 39-45 and this one, which is a world war. It began bit by bit, and now no one can say that it is not a world war. All the great powers are drawn into it. The battlefield is Ukraine. Everyone is fighting there,” the pontiff added.
Recall, on February 26, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, who serves as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Vatican, said that Pope Francis is going to visit Ukraine in the future, but he also wants to visit Moscow. The pontiff does not want to turn the trip into just a symbolic gesture.
Last November, Pope Francis said that there is always hope for “reconciliation” between Kyiv and Moscow, but that each side of the armed conflict must “demilitarize its heart and disarm violence.”
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