Espreso. Global

Pope urges Ukraine's allies "not to play games" with weapons supply 

24 September, 2023 Sunday

On Saturday, September 23, Pope Francis suggested that some states are "playing games" with Ukraine, first providing weapons and then considering reneging on their commitments

Reuters reported the information.

Pope Francis said he was “frustrated” that his efforts to bring about peace had not succeeded.

“It seems to me that the interests in this war are not just those related to the Ukrainian-Russian problem but to the sale of weapons, the commerce of weapons. We should not play games with the martyrdom of these people. We have to help them resolve things ... I see now that some countries are moving backwards, not wanting to give (Ukraine) arms. A process is starting in which the martyr certainly will be the Ukrainian people and that is an ugly thing," he said.

Asked for a clarification, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope does not take a position on whether countries should continue sending weapons to Ukraine or stop sending them.

"It was a reflection on the consequences of the arms industry: the pope, with a paradox, was saying that those who traffic in weapons never pay the consequences of their choices but leave them to be paid by people, like the Ukrainians, who have been martyred," the spokesman said.

As AP notes, Francis's statement is probably related to the recent statement by the Polish Prime Minister that Warsaw will no longer send Kyiv new weapons made for the needs of the Polish army.

At the same time, Polish President Andrzej Duda responded to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's words about ending military aid to Ukraine and said that the Prime Minister's words were interpreted in the worst way and taken out of context.

Vatican's position on the war in Ukraine

In late April, Pope Francis announced that the Vatican was participating in a peacekeeping mission to try to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Subsequently, both Kyiv and Moscow denied the information about this initiative, but on May 10, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that "these were not refusals."

"They said they didn't know anything about it, but then there were contacts where it turned out on both sides that it was a misunderstanding," he said.

In early June, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi visited Kyiv and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets told the Vatican representative about the murders, rapes, and abductions of Ukrainian children by the Russian military.

On June 28, Zuppi arrived in Moscow and met with children's ombudsman Lvova-Belova, who is suspected of mass abduction of Ukrainian children. On July 4, Cardinal Zuppi announced that he was working on a mechanism for the return of deported Ukrainian children.

On August 3, during a meeting with Ukrainian youth, Pope Francis assured them of his prayers for Ukraine and apologized for "failing to do more."

Recently, Pope Francis called Russians "descendants of great culture and humanity" and "great Russia." Ukraine's Foreign Ministry criticized the Pope for promoting narratives about Russia's "greatness."

On September 4, Francis commented on his controversial statement about "Great Mother Russia" and said that he was misunderstood, as he meant culture.

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