Imperial Infighting

Pope Francis Receives Backlash After Calling on Ukraine to Negotiate With Russia

The Catholic leader has repeatedly offered to mediate peace talks to end the war

March 10, 2024

Pope Francis is facing backlash from Kyiv for his remarks suggesting Ukraine should go to the negotiating table to work out a diplomatic settlement with Russia. In comments made during an interview conducted last month with RSI, the Swiss broadcaster, the Catholic leader once again offered to act as a mediator between the two warring sides. The Ukrainian government has criticized the Pope and reaffirmed their refusal to negotiate with the Kremlin.

The Pope is under fire for saying Kyiv should have the “courage of the white flag,” utilizing the same phrasing prompted in a question by his interviewer as was subsequently clarified by the Vatican. Interviewer Lorenzo Buccella put it to the Pope like this, “In Ukraine, some call for the courage of surrender, of the white flag. But others say that this would legitimize the stronger party. What do you think?”

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France and Poland don’t speak for NATO – Italy

Sending NATO troops into Ukraine would block any diplomatic efforts to stop the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, Rome has warned

Mar 11, 2024

France and Poland have no right to speak for all NATO members when it comes to deploying troops to Ukraine, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto told La Stampa newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

The move would only lead to escalation and damage diplomatic efforts to end the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev, he added.

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The minister was commenting on recent statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, each of whom has entertained the possibility of sending NATO troops to aid Kiev.

Last week, the French leader said the West ‘cannot exclude’ the possibility of NATO forces being deployed to Ukraine. His comments sparked a wave of denials from senior officials of member states, including the UK, Czech Republic, Finland, and Sweden, who insisted that they harbor no such plans. Poland had initially said it would not send any troops to Ukraine.

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Pope Francis Urges Zelensky to Save Lives, Find ‘Courage of the White Flag’ to End Conflict

Mar 11, 2024

The Catholic leader said Ukraine’s president should resume negotiations with Russia with the help of international mediators.

Pope Francis added his name to the long list of international critics of Volodymyr Zelensky recently in comments urging the Ukrainian president to find the “courage” to negotiate with Russia for an end to the Donbass conflict.

“The word negotiate is a courageous word,” said Francis in an excerpt from an interview recorded last month. “When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate. Negotiations are never a surrender.”

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Poland’s foreign minister says the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine is ‘not unthinkable’

Poland’s foreign minister says the presence of NATO forces “is not unthinkable” and that he appreciates the French president for not ruling out that idea

ByVANESSA GERA Associated Press
March 9, 2024

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s foreign minister says the presence of NATO forces “is not unthinkable” and that he appreciates the French president for not ruling out that idea.

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Radek Sikorski made the observation during a discussion marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s accession to NATO in the Polish parliament Friday, and the Foreign Ministry tweeted the comments later in English.

They reflect a larger European debate over how to help Ukraine as Russia has gained some momentum on the battlefield and Kyiv is running low on ammunition. The U.S. Congress is withholding aid that Ukraine says it critically needs to hold off the Russians, putting more pressure on Europe to respond to the war that has shattered peace on the continent.

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Zelensky Rejects Proposed Peace Summit, Negotiation With Russia

Mar 9, 2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s idea to hold a peace summit with Russia’s participation.

“We don’t see Russian representatives at such a summit,” Zelensky said at a joint conference with the Turkish leader in Istanbul, reiterating his old thesis that a peace plan should be prepared by other countries without Moscow’s participation – an idea already repeatedly rejected by Russia.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to host a peace summit on Ukraine with Russia’s participation. He recalled that the Black Sea Initiative prevented a global food crisis.

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