Pope names conditions for visiting Kyiv, but appears to rule trip out

12 March, 01:02 PM
Pope Francis (Photo:REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

Pope Francis (Photo:REUTERS/Yara Nardi)

Pope Francis has said he is ready to visit Kyiv, but only if he can go to Moscow during the same trip.

"I want to go to Kyiv,” the Catholic leader said in an interview with the Argentinian outlet La Nacion on March 11.

“But on the condition (that I also go) to Moscow. I’ll go to both places or to neither."

He then said "it is impossible (for him) to go to Moscow" at this time.

Pope Francis said he believes that a meeting between Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy isn't likely to take place at the Vatican, but it might be possible in another place.

Video of day

He also said that he had spoken twice with Zelenskyy by phone and the latter asked him to grant an audience to his wife Olena Zelenska. They scheduled the visit, but it was postponed because of the latest Russian mass missile attack on Ukraine.

The Pope said that he doesn't rule out that, due to its nature, the Russian aggression against Ukraine could be considered genocide in future.

The Pope’s comments have raised controversy in the past: in particular, he has supported a common Russian propaganda trope that the NATO defensive alliance “provoked” Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News

Ukraine Today
Fresh daily newsletter covering the top headlines and developments in Ukraine
Daily at 9am EST
Show more news