‘War is madness’: Pope Francis backs for talks between Ukraine and Russia

WION Web Team
Vatican Updated: Feb 09, 2022, 04:56 PM(IST)

(File photo) Pope Francis Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Even though Macron claimed that he was assured by Russian President Putin against any escalation on the Ukraine issue, the Kremlin, however, denied coming to such an agreement

Expressing concern over increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Pope Francis hoped that the talks between the two countries, adding that a war in the eastern European country “would be madness”.

Speaking at his Wednesday general audience, Francis thanked those who took part in his January 26 international day of prayer for peace in Ukraine.

“Let us continue to beg the God of peace so that the tensions and threats of war can be overcome through a serious dialogue and that the Normandy Format talks can contribute to this aim,” he said, referring to negotiations involving Russia and Ukraine, facilitated by Germany and France.

“And let's not forget. War is madness,” he said.

Russia has reportedly gathered troops near the Ukraine borders, stoking fears of an invasion. But Kremlin has reputedly denied the accusations made by the West and maintained that it doesn’t intend to repeat the 2014 skirmish that led to the annexation of Crimea.

Also read | Ukraine row: Macron pushes for peace as Russian warships get ready for drills

Most Ukrainians follow Orthodox Christianity, but the country is also home to its own branch of the Catholic Church, which practices an eastern rite similar to Orthodox worship while proclaiming loyalty to the Pope in Rome.

Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in Moscow to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin, said that he was assured that Kremlin would not escalate the Ukrainian crisis.

Also read | It 'would be wise' for Americans to leave Ukraine, says Biden

Macron also said it would take time to find a diplomatic solution to the rising tensions, which represent the biggest security crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

His remarks on a visit to Kyiv came as the Kremlin denied reports that he and Putin struck a deal on de-escalating the crisis.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “in the current situation, Moscow and Paris can’t be reaching any deals.”

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App