The Pope no longer beats around the bush or linguistic juggling. The lack of progress towards a horizon of peace in Ukraine, seven months after the beginning of the Russian invasion, no longer allows it. Thus, Francis has decided to address directly to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to ask him to stop “the spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, caused by its “aggression” to the neighboring country. “I beg you, also in the name of love for his own people”, the Argentine pontiff told Putin.
The highest authority of the largest Christian community has thus expressed itself in an intervention dedicated almost entirely to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and carried out this Sunday before the faithful who listened to him in Saint Peter’s Square. Francisco has said that he considers that he is “absurd” what humanity is in danger of nuclear war, with “uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide”. “After seven months of hostilities, all diplomatic tools, even those that have not been used so farto put an end to this terrible tragedy”, he continued.
“What still needs to happen?” he wondered. “Let’s silence our weapons and Let’s look for the conditions to start negotiations capable of leading to solutions not imposed by force, but consensual, fair and stable”, he insisted, also condemning the recent annexations of Ukrainian territories by Russia. “I deeply regret the serious situation of recent days, with new actions contrary to the principles of international law“, he opined. This “increases the risk of a nuclear escalation”, he continued.
According to the Pope, they must rrespect “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, as well as the rights of minorities”. But it is also necessary to reach an agreement “now” for the cessation of hostilities.
To the UN and the international community
For this reason, he has also said that, although he is “saddened” by the “immense suffering” suffered by the Ukrainian population, he also requests to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, open to “any serious proposal for peace.” And, in the same way, the prelate has asked all the political actors of the international community and HIM that they “do everything in their power” to end the war and support dialogue initiatives.
Francis has expressed himself in this way after months in which he has progressively multiplied his messages condemning the war in Ukraine, putting aside the diplomatic language that usually characterizes Catholic leaders, which on more than one occasion provoked criticism from kyiv. “It is distressing that the world is learning the geography of Ukraine through names like Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Izium, Zaporizhzhia and other places, which have become places of indescribable suffering and fear”, Francis reasoned who, in the In the past few months, he has also sought – unsuccessfully – to find a common front with Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.