Espreso. Global

Surrender isn't peace: Stoltenberg reacts to Pope Francis' statement on ‘white flag’

11 March, 2024 Monday
17:20

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, commenting on the Pope's statement calling on Ukraine to raise a ‘white flag,’ said that only Russia can end the war

This is reported by NTV.

"Surrender is not peace. President (Vladimir - ed.) Putin started this war and can end it today. Ukraine, on the other hand, does not have that option," Stoltenberg said.

At the same time, he called on all allies to continue providing military support to Kyiv.

Germany's reaction to the Pope's words

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, commenting on the Pope's statement, said she did not understand these words, Tagesschau reports.

"In this day and age, I don't understand it. Perhaps we should go to Ukraine with those who are demanding peace talks," Baerbock said.

Speaking about Russia's war against Ukraine, the minister noted that some things can only be understood by seeing them with your own eyes.

"I ask myself: where is the Pope? The Pope must know about this," Baerbock emphasized and added that the German federal government is trying "every day to put an end to this terrible drama, and every day it sees that even worse things are being invented.”

The minister emphasized that the whole world should have the courage to stand by the people of Ukraine and do everything possible to help Ukraine defend itself.

"If there was even a minimal chance that the Russian regime would be ready for negotiations, then the whole world would be ready for them. Unfortunately, we see the opposite every day," Baerbock said.

What preceded it

In February, the Pope gave an interview in which he said that Ukraine should have the courage to raise the white flag and start negotiations with Russia. The Vatican issued an explanation of what Francis' words meant.

Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs believes that "raising the white flag" as a sign of surrender is evil and that he must first be defeated, while Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has appealed to the Pope to encourage Putin to withdraw his army from Ukraine.

For his part, the commander of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, Dmytro Yarosh, issued a statement regarding Pope Francis' call for Ukrainians to "raise the white flag" and have the "courage" to agree to negotiate with Russia. According to him, “Popes are a changeable category, God and the Church are eternal.”

In addition, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted to Francis' statement. "When the Russian evil started this war on February 24, all Ukrainians stood up to defend themselves. Christians, Muslims, Jews - everyone. And I thank every Ukrainian chaplain who is with the army, in the Defense Forces. There, on the front line. They protect life and humanity. They support us with prayer, conversation, and deeds," he said.

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