The Pope said about “NATO barking at the door of Russia”

He said that Patriarch Kirill told him for 20 minutes about the reasons for the special operation, while the heads of the two churches should seek peace

Pope Francis

The start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine could be caused by “NATO barking at Russia's door”; and anger that “may have been fueled,” said Pope Francis in an interview with Corriere della Sera.

The Pope noted that he did not know how to relate to the supply of weapons by Western countries to Ukraine, indicating that he was “too far away.” “What is clear is that weapons are being tested on this earth. <…> Wars are fought for this: to test the weapons that we have created,— Francis sure.

The pontiff added that two or three years ago, a ship arrived in Italian Genoa that was carrying weapons for Yemen, the cargo was supposed to be taken on board by another ship. However, according to him, the workers at the port refused to do so, urging them to “think about the children of Yemen.” According to Francis, “there should be more like this.”

Francis added that after the start of the Russian special operation, he had a video conversation with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, which lasted 40 minutes. According to him, for the first 20 minutes of the conversation, the patriarch “read out all the justifications with a map in his hands.” for a special operation. “I listened and told him: I don’t understand anything about this. Brother, we are not government clergy, we cannot use the language of politics, only the language of Jesus,— said the Pope.

According to Francis, the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches are “pastors of the same holy people of God”, and therefore they should look for ways to establish peace and a ceasefire.

The Pontiff added that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had informed him of Russia's plans to end the special operation in Ukraine by Victory Day. “Told me that the Russians have a plan that everything will end on May 9th. I hope so, — he said.

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Patriarch Kirill and the Pope first met in person in Cuba in 2016, they talked via video link in mid-March of this year. The parties planned the second face-to-face meeting of the pontiff and the patriarch, it was to be held in mid-June in Jerusalem. At the end of April, the meeting was postponed because it “could lead to even more confusion at this time.” At the same time, the Pope offered to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Vatican sent a corresponding proposal to the Kremlin in March, after a month and a half there was still no answer. “We haven't received a response yet, and we're still pushing [for a meeting], although I'm afraid Putin can't and doesn't want to have that meeting right now,” said the pontiff.

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