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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticizes Pope Francis' comments on conflict with Russia

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry expressed its deep disapproval of comments made by Pope Francis regarding the two-year conflict between Ukraine and Russia, summoning the Holy See's permanent diplomatic representative, known as the papal nuncio, on Monday ( 11).

In an interview with the Swiss broadcaster RSI, whose full broadcast is scheduled for March 20 (Wednesday), the pontiff urged Ukraine to “demonstrate the courage of the white flag” and to begin negotiations with Russia to end the conflict.

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Ukrainian disapproval and international expectations

The statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted the disappointment with the Pope's statements, arguing that such comments “legitimize the right to power and further encourage disrespect for international laws”. The Vatican's ambassador to Ukraine, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, was briefed on the Ukrainian position regarding the papal comments.

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Flag of Ukraine in St. Peter's Square (Photo: Reproduction/Alberto Pizzoli/AFP)


Furthermore, the Ministry expressed the expectation that the Pope would send “clear signals” to the international community about the urgent need for unity to ensure the prevalence of good over evil in this conflict.

Zelensky's response and peace proposals

Ukraine reiterated its commitment to the pursuit of peace, emphasizing the importance of it being fair and based on the principles of the United Nations Charter and the peace formula proposed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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In response to the Pope's comments, Zelensky said last Sunday that distant religious figures should not be involved in “virtual mediation between someone who wants to live and someone who wants to destroy him”.

The peace plan proposed by the Ukrainian president includes the withdrawal of Russian troops, a return to Ukraine's 1991 borders and holding Russia legally accountable for its actions. However, Russia argues that it cannot negotiate under these premises.

Featured photo: Pope Francis (Reproduction/REUTERS)

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Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticizes Pope Francis' comments on conflict with Russia

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