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28 Feb, 2022 15:54

Vatican offers to mediate between Russia & Ukraine

The Holy See demands Moscow stop its military attack
Vatican offers to mediate between Russia & Ukraine

The Vatican has called on Russia to cease its military offensive in Ukraine and sit at the negotiating table in hope of putting an end to the offensive through diplomacy, which Pope Francis is said to be ready to mediate.

In a statement on Monday, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin appealed to Moscow to end its operation in the Eastern European nation.

“The Holy See, which in these years has followed events in Ukraine constantly, discreetly and with great attention, offering to facilitate dialogue with Russia, is always ready to help both sides resume such a path,” said the theocracy’s second most important dignitary.

Kiev has repeatedly stated that it welcomes the Vatican’s offer to mediate the standoff with Moscow. Ukraine's ambassador to the Holy See, Andrey Yurash called the Vatican a "very influential, very spiritual place for a meeting."

Last Friday, in what could be seen as a violation of normal diplomatic protocol, the 85-year-old pontiff appeared at the front door of the Russian Mission to the Vatican. The Pope pleaded with Moscow’s envoy to end what he called “the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would launch a special military operation in Ukraine last Thursday during a televised address to the nation. The goal of the action, according to the Kremlin, is “to protect the people [of Donbass] who have been tortured for eight years by the Ukrainian regime.”

The Russian leader also called for the complete “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine and made a pledge to prosecute those who were involved in “numerous bloody crimes against civilians.” Moscow’s decision to begin the operation came after an official request from the leaders of the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (DPR) People’s Republics for “help in repelling the Ukrainian military aggression.”