Pope's potential Kyiv visit contingent on Moscow trip, Ukraine’s envoy to Holy See says

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis is ready to come to Kyiv for a working visit, but only if this trip is combined with a visit to Moscow, Ukraine's Ambassador to the Holy See Andriy Yurash said in an interview with Radio Liberty on March 11.

"The corresponding issue is constantly raised," Yurash said.

"We remind [them] about it. And just the other day at official and unofficial meetings, we talked about it."

The Pope received an invitation from the Ukrainian side in May 2023, Kyiv’s envoy said.

"Later, there were also invitations from the Prime Minister and all other officials," said the diplomat.

"The Pope is well aware of this. He has his own vision. Although he officially says that a potential visit to Kyiv is possible, which he does not refuse, which he wants to realize, he necessarily links it to a visit to Moscow."

Read also: Evil must be fought and defeated, Latvian President responds to Pope’s outrageous ‘white flag’ statement

The Ambassador clarified that such a visit would probably be unrealistic anyway, as there is no interest from Russia.

In a recent interview with the Swiss broadcaster RSI, Pope Francis said that "the strongest will be the one who has the courage to raise the white flag" and that "negotiating is courageous." He also called for negotiations "before it is too late."

After Francis' words caused an outcry, the head of the Vatican Press Service, Matteo Bruni, explained the Pope's statement, noting that he had picked up the image of "a white flag to signify the cessation of hostilities, a truce that should be achieved through the courage to negotiate" suggested by a journalist.

Francis' scandalous statement also sparked a reaction from Poland and Latvia, among others.

In response to the Pope's words, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine's flag is blue and yellow, and "we will not raise other flags."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized Pope Francis' calls. He said that the white walls of houses and churches in Ukraine destroyed by Russian munitions "speak very eloquently about who should stop" to end the war.

Read also: Kremlin reminds that Putin’s stance echoes Pope's call for Ukraine to negotiate

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine