Pope Francis concluded his pilgrimage to Hungary on Tuesday. After flying back to Rome from Budapest, he told reporters he was ready to do everything possible for peace in Ukraine.
“There is a mission underway, which has not yet been publicly announced,” he said, adding that it is about peace in a country hit by Russia.
Kiev in words about “peace work”: the talks, if they happen, will be without us
The head of the Catholic Church did not specify which countries or organizations would participate in the “mission” or what its assumptions would be. If the peace effort is real, I don’t know how the Pope knows about it.
See: Ihor Sovkva, deputy head of Zelensky’s administration: no crisis with Ukrainian grain
Kiev responded to Francis’s words. An anonymous CNN informant from Volodymyr Zelensky’s circles said the Ukrainian administration knew nothing about the “pacification mission.”
– The President did not agree to such negotiations on behalf of Ukraine. If talks are taking place, it will happen without our knowledge and without our blessing,” the source added.
Russia also says it has no knowledge of the mission the Pope mentioned. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday that Moscow had no information about the initiative.
The Pope suggested he had spoken to Orban about mediation on Ukraine
This was not an unusual statement from Francis on Tuesday. When asked if he had spoken with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Budapest’s Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion about a possible mediation on Ukraine, he replied: – We are not only talking about Little Red Riding Hood. Peace is always built by opening channels, not by closing them.
See: Evgeny Prigozhin: Ukrainians ready for counterattack They will attack by May 15
The Pope has been talking about the war in Ukraine since the invasion began in February 2022. He argues that another world war is underway and asks for sympathy for the victims not only from the affected country but also from Russia.
In March, Swiss journalists asked him what he would say if he had the chance to meet Vladimir Putin, as he had before the invasion of Ukraine. – I will speak to him as plainly as I would in public. He was an educated man, he thought.
He also recalled that on the second day of the war he went to the Russian embassy in the Holy See, telling diplomats that he was ready to fly to Moscow if Putin gave him a “window for negotiations.” – Lavrov wrote to thank me, but now is not the time. “Putin knows I’m ready,” the Pope said at the time.
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