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Navdeep Yadav

Pope Says Eager To Visit Moscow And Meet Vladimir Putin

Pope Francis of the Vatican City, in an interview with the Italian news outlet, said that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "barking" at Russia's door may have led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The head of the Catholic Church added that three weeks into the conflict, he had offered to meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to stop the Ukraine war but didn't receive a reply.

See Also: Who Is The Ghost Of Kyiv?

What Happened: In an interview with Corriere Della Sera, Pope — who made an unprecedented visit to the Russian embassy when the war started — said that he had asked the Vatican's top diplomat to send a message to Moscow. 

The message said, "I (Pope) was willing to go to Moscow. Certainly, it was necessary for the Kremlin leader to allow an opening. We have not yet received a response, and we are still insisting."

Comparing the killings in Ukraine to the genocide in Rwanda's civil war in the 1990s, the Pope said, "I fear that Putin cannot, and does not, want to have this meeting at this time. But how can you not stop so much brutality? Twenty-five years ago in Rwanda, we lived through the same thing."

When asked about a trip to Ukraine's Kyiv, which the Pope earlier said was a possibility, he said he would not go for now. 

"First, I have to go to Moscow; first I have to meet Putin ... I do what I can. If Putin would only open a door," he said.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, the Pope has criticized the mass killing without explicitly mentioning Russia or President Putin because of its foreign policy of keeping the door open for possible dialogue.

Photo: Courtesy of Long Thien via Flickr

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