NewsZelensky refutes Pope's negotiation suggestion amid Ukraine conflict

Zelensky refutes Pope's negotiation suggestion amid Ukraine conflict

Zełenski sharply criticizes the pope's words. "Virtual mediation"
Zełenski sharply criticizes the pope's words. "Virtual mediation"
Images source: © EPA, PAP | RICCARDO ANTIMIANI
7:42 AM EDT, March 11, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded in his evening address to Pope Francis's comments regarding the "white flag" and the idea of negotiating with Russia. He expressed his gratitude to the Ukrainian chaplains for their daily presence and support, contrasting it with those who are "about 1,553 miles away" practicing "virtual mediation."

"The truly strong person is the one who understands the situation, thinks of the nation, and has the bravery to consider negotiation with the courage of the white flag," said Pope Francis in an excerpt from an interview released on Saturday by Swiss television, touching on the conflict in Ukraine. He argued that today, negotiations could involve the assistance of international powers and highlighted the courage inherent in the willingness to negotiate.

Global controversy sparked by the Pope's statement

The Pope's remarks have sparked widespread controversy. "Perhaps, to encourage balance, someone could persuade Putin to have the courage to withdraw his troops from Ukraine?" suggested Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in response to the Pope's statement.

"My thought this Sunday morning: One must not yield to evil; one must confront and defeat it so that evil itself is forced to surrender and raise the white flag," Latvia's President Edgars Rinkevics shared on his X platform profile.

"Our flag is blue and yellow. It symbolizes the cause for which we live, die, and achieve victory. We will never raise any other flag," emphasized Dmytro Kuleba, head of Ukrainian diplomacy.

"Ukraine once boasted many white walls on its houses and churches"

President Volodymyr Zelensky also addressed the Pope's comments in his nightly address.

"Russian aggression has been halted from advancing further into Europe solely by the efforts of Ukrainian men and women, armed and under the banner of the blue and yellow flag. Ukraine was adorned with many white walls of houses and churches, now marred and destroyed by Russian missiles, making a powerful statement about who must cease their actions for the war to end," he remarked.

"Those standing in defense of life are performing the most noble mission conceivable in such a grievous invasion," Zelensky added, expressing his appreciation for Ukraine's support for its defense.

"From the onset of this war by Russian aggression on February 24th, every Ukrainian has risen in defense—Christians, Muslims, Jews—united. I extend my deepest gratitude to every Ukrainian chaplain serving with our armed forces and defense units. They are at the frontline, safeguarding life and our humanity, offering support through prayers, conversations, and actions. This exemplifies the true essence of the Church—being present with the people, not distant, engaging in virtual mediation between those fighting for their existence and those bent on destruction," Zelensky emphasized.

"My thanks go to everyone committed to preserving life in Ukraine and alongside Ukraine, through both deeds and prayers," Zelensky concluded.

Source: PAP, pravda.com.ua

Related content