Ukraine slams Pope’s ‘white flag’ negotiation name, vows ‘by no means’ to give up to Russia | EUROtoday

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Ukraine on Sunday slammed Pope Francis’s name to barter with Russia two years into its invasion, vowing “never” to give up after the pontiff mentioned Kyiv ought to “have the courage to raise the white flag”.

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The 87-year-old Catholic chief fuelled anger in Kyiv this weekend after he mentioned in an interview that Ukraine ought to negotiate with Russia, which has seized giant swathes of its territory within the offensive.

It shouldn’t be the primary assertion by Pope Francis throughout Moscow’s invasion that has brought about outrage in Ukraine. The pontiff has additionally made statements slammed by Russia.

“Our flag is a yellow and blue one. This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned.

He was responding to the Pope’s interview to Swiss broadcaster RTS through which the Catholic chief raised the prospect of give up — two years after Kyiv has battled Russian forces on its territory.

“I believe that the strongest are those who see the situation, think about the people, and have the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate,” Pope Francis mentioned in an interview the Vatican mentioned was carried out in early February.

In an indication of how angered Kyiv was, Ukrainian officers in contrast the assertion to a number of the Catholic church collaborating with Nazi Germany in World War II.

“At the same time, when it comes to the white flag, we know this Vatican strategy from the first half of the 20th century,” Kuleba mentioned, calling on the Holy See to “avoid repeating the mistakes of the past”.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash, went additional by evaluating the Pope’s negotiation suggestion to speaking to Adolf Hitler:

“(The) lesson is only one — if we want to finish war, we have to do everything to kill (the) Dragon!,” he mentioned on social media.

After the interview was aired, Francis supplied contemporary prayers for “martyred Ukraine”, as Vatican officers mentioned his name was merely meant to finish fierce combating.

Kyiv hopes Francis will go to

On Saturday night, the Vatican issued an announcement insisting the pope’s use of the phrase “white flag” — a extensively used signal of give up on the battlefield — was meant to imply “a cessation of hostilities, a truce reached with the courage of negotiation”.

But the pontiff’s phrases had been extensively understood as a name for give up and slammed by some Western diplomats.

“Russia is the aggressor and breaks international law! Therefore Germany asks Moscow to stop the war, not Kyiv!”, mentioned Bernhard Kotsch, Germany’s envoy to the Vatican.

Kuleba mentioned Kyiv hoped Francis would go to his war-torn nation after greater than two years of battling its greater neighbour.

“We continue to hope that after two years of devastating war in the heart of Europe, the Pontiff will find an opportunity to pay an Apostolic visit to Ukraine to support over a million Ukrainian Catholics, over five million Greek-Catholics and all Ukrainians,” Kuleba mentioned.

Francis drew criticism within the first months after Russia’s February 2022 invasion for failing to call Moscow because the aggressor.

He was additionally criticised by Ukraine final 12 months when he allegedly praised Russian imperial leaders Peter the Great and Catherine II.

The pontiff has additionally brought about upset in Russia, when he mentioned in winter 2022 that its “cruellest” forces in Ukraine had been “not of the Russian tradition”, however minorities like “the Chechens, the Buryati and so on”.

The Vatican then formally apologised to Moscow.

Last 12 months, Pope Francis appointed a prime cardinal to attempt to dealer peace in Ukraine who has visited Moscow, Kyiv, Washington and Beijing.