Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis has floated the idea that he wants to take a trip to Kyiv to try to broker a ceasefire. But now he says he would prefer to go to Moscow to try to talk some sense into Vladimir Putin, who he has not outwardly condemned in the now nearly three-month-old war and only did so lightly in a lengthy interview with an Italian newspaper.
“I feel that before going to Kyiv, I must go to Moscow,” he told Corriere Della Sera in an interview that ran Tuesday. But the meeting would not exactly be to condemn Putin, based on what he told the paper. He said that the real “scandal” of Putin’s war is “NATO barking at Russia’s door,” which he said caused the Kremlin to “react badly and unleash the conflict.” . . .
“I don’t know how to answer—I’m too far away—the question of whether it is right to supply the Ukrainians,” he told the paper. “The clear thing is that weapons are being tested there. The Russians now know that tanks are of little use and are thinking of other things. This is why wars are waged: to test the weapons we have produced. Few people are fighting this trade, but more should be done.” . . .
Francis veered toward conspiracy theory as he blamed the international community for instigating the war. “You cannot think that a free state can make war on another free state,” he said. “In Ukraine, it seems that it was others who created the conflict. I am pessimistic but we must do everything possible to stop the war.” The pope then said that in a state visit to Rome by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, he was told “the Russians have a plan, that everything will end on May 9” without giving any further explanation. May 9 is the day Russia celebrates its liberation and the end of World War II. (Read more from “Pope Francis Says NATO Started War in Ukraine by ‘Barking at Putin’s Door’” HERE)
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