(RFI) Ukraine concentrates “imperial interests” and “not only those of the Russian Empire,” Pope Francis said in an interview on Swiss public television, excerpts of which were published Friday (10).
There are in Ukraine “imperial interests, not only of the Russian Empire, but of empires elsewhere. It is proper for an empire to put nations in second place,” the Supreme Pontiff declared in Italian in an interview on Swiss television RSI.
“In a little over a hundred years there have been three world wars: 1914-18, 1939-45, and this one, which is a world war. The conflict began little by little and now no one can say that it is not a world war,” he added, according to a partial transcript of the interview available on the RSI website. The full version will be released on Sunday (12).
“The great powers are all connected. And the battlefield is Ukraine. Everyone is fighting there,” added the 86-year-old Argentine pope, whose pontificate will complete ten years next Monday (13).
Absurd and cruel” war
Jorge Bergoglio has multiplied calls for peace in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022, strongly condemning an “absurd and cruel” war.
Despite mediation proposals, the Holy See’s diplomacy has failed to take a stand on the conflict in Ukraine. The pope himself had considered going to Kiev and Moscow, a project that so far is not on track.
Last October, Francis called for the world to learn from history, referring to the threats of nuclear war in Ukraine. At a ceremony at the Vatican, he advocated the path of peace.
Amid threats of nuclear war, Pope Francis asks world to ‘learn from history’
Pope Francis has asked the world to learn from history, referring to the threats of nuclear war in Ukraine. At a ceremony at the Vatican, he advocated the path of peace.
The high pontiff made no direct mention of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine or of recent statements by US President Joe Bien, who said the world is under threat of a nuclear “Armageddon” for the first time since the Cold War. But recalling the beginning of the Second Vatican Council 60 years ago, Francis said during a canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square that “we must not forget the danger of nuclear war that threatened the world.”
“Why don’t we learn from history? At that time there were conflicts and tensions, but the path of peace was chosen,” the 85-year-old pontiff insisted.
Exactly a week ago the pope had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the “spiral of violence” in Ukraine, also out of love for his people. The Pope also criticized the annexations of territories as “contrary to international law.