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Russian war of aggression: Pope interview: Ukraine summons Vatican ambassador

Russian war of aggression: Pope interview: Ukraine summons Vatican ambassador

Pope Francis received a lot of criticism for his statements about the “courage of the white flag” in the Ukraine war. The Vatican representative has now been summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Kiev.

After strong criticism of Pope Francis’ statements about a possible surrender in the war against Russia, Ukraine has summoned the Holy See’s representative in Kiev to the Foreign Ministry. Visvaldas Kulbokas – the apostolic nuncio who represents the Vatican in Ukraine – has been informed that the country attacked by Russia is “disappointed” by Francis’ comments, the authority in Kiev said. The papal appeal should go “to the attacker and not to the victim,” criticized the Ukrainian side. In addition, Francis is expected to advocate for a “victory of good over evil,” “instead of sending appeals that legalize the law of the strongest and encourage him to continue to disregard the norms of international law.”

In addition, Kiev emphasized that Ukraine strives for peace. But this peace must be fair and based on the peace formula presented by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among other things, this provides for a withdrawal of Russian troops, who currently occupy around a fifth of Ukrainian territory.

Francis had said in an interview about the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, which has now been going on for more than two years: “When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate.” Francis was also asked about calls for “the courage to surrender, to raise the white flag.” To which he replied: “It’s a question of perspective. But I think that the one who recognizes the situation, who thinks about the people, who has the courage of the white flag to negotiate is stronger.” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni later contradicted reports that the pope had called on Ukraine to surrender.

Kremlin spokesman emphasizes openness to negotiations

After Pope Francis’ controversial interview, the Kremlin has emphasized its willingness to negotiate to end the conflict. Russia does not understand the Pope’s statements in the interview with Swiss television as a call for Ukraine to surrender, but as a plea for negotiations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies. Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken about being ready and open to negotiations. “This is the preferred way,” Peskov said.

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Peskov accused the West and France in particular of further inflaming tensions in the conflict with the discussion about sending ground troops to Ukraine. “This is a dangerous line, a very dangerous one,” Peskov said. Russia is following this closely. The Russian services already have information that there are forces in Ukraine who, although they describe themselves as advisors, have a direct connection to NATO.

Source: Stern

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