Pope Calls For Ukraine And Russia Peace Talks. What Do The Warring Nations Think?

by Tommy Grant

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church has called for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, as the war rages on. The pope added that because Ukraine is on the verge of losing this war, they should have the “courage” to negotiate peace with Moscow.

The pope made his appeal for peace during an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI, which was partially released on Saturday, according to the Associated Press News.  “I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates,” Pope Francis said, adding that talks should take place with the help of international powers.

Russia has already said that it shares the pontiff’s desire for peace negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.  Comments by Pope Francis about launching peace talks to end the Ukraine conflict is something that Moscow has also repeatedly called for, Peskov added on Monday.

“The idea that [the Pope] spoke about is quite understandable,” Peskov said. “You know that [Russian President Vladimir Putin] has repeatedly spoken about our readiness and openness to solve our problems through negotiations and this is the preferred way.” According to a report by RT, the spokesman noted, however, that the Pope’s calls, as well as those from other countries, including Russia, “have recently been met with an absolutely harsh rejection by the Kiev regime.”

Ukraine immediately blasted the pope saying it was “wrong” to even suggest that Kiev should restart negotiations with Moscow, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has said. The pontiff ruffled feathers in Ukraine this week by speaking about the importance of having “the courage of the white flag.”

“When it comes to the white flag, we know this Vatican’s strategy from the first half of the twentieth century,” Kuleba wrote on X (formerly Twitter), apparently referring to the policy of neutrality pursued by Pope Pius XII during World War II.

Kuleba urged the Vatican to “avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and to support Ukraine and its people.”

“Our flag is a yellow and blue one. This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags,” the minister wrote.

The Pope’s spokesman, Matteo Bruni, later clarified that the term ‘white flag’ was first used by the interviewer and that Pope Francis had stressed that “negotiations are never a surrender.” Bruni added that the Pope hopes that “a little bit of humanity can be found that allows the creation of the conditions for a diplomatic solution in search of a just and lasting peace.”

In a statement on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky (without specifically mentioning Pope Francis) stated that the religious figures trying to help Ukraine are “together with the people, not two and a half thousand kilometers away somewhere, virtually mediating between someone who wants to live and someone who wants to destroy you.” The implications are there, however, that Zelensky was commenting about the pope’s desire for peace negotiations.

Several of Kyiv’s foreign backers have also slammed the Pope’s statement.  Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that “one must not capitulate in face of evil” and must make sure that the evil raises the white flag and capitulates.” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski suggested that the Pope should be “encouraging Putin to have the courage to withdraw his army from Ukraine.”

Russia is not staring at defeat, however, and Ukraine is right on the verge of not being able to handle the war any longer. Countless lives could be saved if both Russia and Ukraine could work out a peace deal, but based on Kyiv’s response, that outcome seems highly unlikely.

The United Nations has also already declared that “peace talks” between the countries are “impossible.”

United Nations Says Ukraine & Russia “Peace Talks” Are Impossible



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