Pope's representative says Ukraine cannot surrender to Russia

Visvaldas Kulbokas
Visvaldas Kulbokas

In his recent controversial interview, Pope Francis was merely suggesting Ukraine should be open to negotiations with Russia, as opposed to capitulating to Moscow’s demands, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, Visvaldas Kulbokas, said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica on March 11.

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Commenting on the Pope's interview, Archbishop Kulbokas said that the Pontiff "should have been given the chance to elaborate."

According to the archbishop, "the Pope's heart aches for the numerous casualties of the war in Ukraine, starting with the children."

“In order to stop the war, the Pope is the first to raise a white flag — in the sense that he invites everyone to dialogue, because the continuation of bloodshed pains him,” said Kulbokas.

“Moreover, if the journalist wanted to have an objective conversation, he should have first asked the Pope what he thinks Russia should do. It's simply a matter of opening one's eyes — where did the missiles, armored vehicles, and soldiers come from two years ago? From Ukraine or from Russia?”

When asked what Moscow should do, Kulbokas said it must stop killing and sending its military, missiles, drones, etc., into Ukrainian territory.

“...my main task is to pray for everyone, for both the aggressor and the victim of aggression,” the archbishop added.

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“When I pray, I ask for Russia to stop the killings and for Ukraine to find the wisest way to cope with this aggression and unbearable pain.”

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The interviewer also asked Kulbokas how to interpret the Pope's invitation to "negotiations."

“Should we try to fight back in this war or surrender? Ukrainians know their history; they've seen it happen before,” the Apostolic Nuncio answers.

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“They know from history that the cost of submission to such power has been much higher — not just in casualties, but also in suffering, including mass atrocities like the Holodomor. Thus, the question arises: what will bring more casualties - resisting the aggressor or reaching some kind of agreement? And what should that agreement look like? It cannot be a capitulation.”

In a recent interview with the Swiss Italian-language broadcaster RSI, Pope Francis suggested that "the stronger one is the one who has the courage of the white flag" and that "negotiating is brave." He also urged negotiations "before things get worse" for Ukraine.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine