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Pope: 'First, I Must Go to Moscow ... I Must Meet Putin'

By Michael W. Chapman | May 4, 2022 | 5:03pm EDT
Pope Francis.  (Getty Images)
Pope Francis. (Getty Images)

Pope Francis said he is not going to Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, at present because he must first go to Moscow and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, he is still waiting for Putin's office to respond with some open days for a meeting, said the Pope, as reported by Vatican News

In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, and translated by Vatican News, Pope Francis said, "I am not going to Kyiv for now; I feel that I must not go. First, I must go to Moscow. First, I must meet Putin. But I am also a priest, what can I do? I do what I can. If Putin would only open the door."

"I asked Cardinal Parolin, after 20 days of war, to send a message to Putin to say that I was willing to go to Moscow," said the Pope. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin.  (Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Getty Images)

However, "We have not yet received an answer, and we are still insisting, even if I fear that Putin cannot and does not want to have this meeting at this time," said the Pope.

"But how can this brutality not be stopped?" he added. "Twenty-five years ago we experienced the same thing with Rwanda.”

Pope Francis has called for an end to the war in Ukraine since it began on Feb. 24. In addition to calling for prayers to end the war, Pope Francis has spoken by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymer Zelensky, he has visited the Russian embassy to the Holy See, and publicly expressed his desire to meet with Putin. 

As for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis has blamed NATO aggression to a degree. 

"NATO's barking at Russia's door" has led the Kremlin to "react badly and unleash the conflict," said the Pope, as reported by Vatican News.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Pope also warned about further aggression by Russia. 

"The Russians have a plan," he said. "So, one would also understand the celerity of the escalation of these days. Because now it's not just the Donbas, it's Crimea, it's Odessa, it's taking away the Black Sea port from Ukraine, it's everything. I am pessimistic, but we must make every possible gesture to stop the war.”

h/t Vatican News

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