Pope Francis revealed that he has asked to travel to Moscow to meet him Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask him to stop the war in Ukraine, but has not yet received a response, in an interview published today by the newspaper ‘Corriere della Sera’. He also assured that in his recent meeting with the Hungarian president, Victor Orban, he assured him that the Russians “have a plan and that on May 9 everything will be over.” May 9 (1945) is the day that celebrates the victory of the Soviet Union about Nazi Germany In the Second World War.
The Pope explained that while he has spoken with the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky has not yet spoken with Putinfrom whom he received a call in December for his birthday and who after 20 days of war asked the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to send the Russian president the message that he was willing to go to Moscow.
“Of course, it was necessary for the Kremlin leader to allow some windows. We have not received a response yet and we continue to insist, although I am afraid that Putin cannot and does not want to have this meeting right now,” the pontiff explained.
While for the moment he stressed that he will not go to Ukraine: “I feel that I do not have to go. First I have to go to Moscow, first I have to meet with Putin. But I am a priest, what can I do? I do what I can. If Putin opened the door…” he advanced.
According to ‘Corriere della Sera’, Pope Francis’ concern is that Putin, for the time being, will not stop.
Regarding the role of NATO in this conflict, the pope affirms that he does not know if Putin’s “anger” was caused by the presence of the Atlantic Alliance at the gates of Russia, but he believes that “it did facilitate it.”
On if it is lawful to send weapons by countries to Ukraine to defend themselves from the invasion, the pope does not say that he is not capable of answering and added: “I am too far from the question of whether it is correct to supply the Ukrainians. What is clear is that Weapons are being tested on that land. The Russians now know that tanks are of little use and they are thinking of other things. Wars are fought for this: to test the weapons we have produced.”
According to Francisco, “this was the case of the Spanish Civil War before the Second World War.”
“The arms trade is a scandal, few oppose it. Two or three years ago a ship arrived in Genoa loaded with weapons that had to be transferred to a large freighter to transport them to Yemen. The port workers did not want to do it. They said: let’s think in the children of Yemen. It’s a small thing, but a nice gesture. There should be so many like this,” he added.
The pontiff denied that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, could collaborate in arresting Putin because in the videoconference they had, “the first 20 minutes he read me all the justifications for the war.”
“I had a scheduled meeting with him in Jerusalem on June 14. It would be our second face-to-face, nothing to do with the war. But now he also agrees that meeting could be a mixed signal,” he explained.
He also revealed that in his recent meeting with the Hungarian President Victor Orban he assured him that the Russians “They have a plan and that on May 9 everything will be over.”
“I hope so, so we would also understand the speed of escalation these days. Because now It’s not just Donbasit’s Crimea, it’s Odessa, it’s taking away Ukraine’s Black Sea access, that’s all. I am pessimistic, but we must make every possible gesture to stop the war,” he stressed.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.