In an interview with the Swiss media Pope Francis stated that it is not only Russian imperialism that is responsible for the war in Ukraine. Francis noted that this war is "driven by imperial interests.” he added that "it's not only about the Russian empire, but also about empires from other places… All the great powers are entangled. And the battlefield is Ukraine. Everyone is fighting there," he said.
Francis called the war in Ukraine the third world war. "There have been three world wars in just over a hundred years: '14-'18, '39-'45, and the one that is also a world war," he said. He made similar statements in Poland last year.
Russian propaganda also presents this war as a conflict between Russia and the entire West, and not only a war between Russia and Ukraine, whom they invaded more than a year ago.
Pope Francis also blamed arms manufacturers for perpetuating war, including this one. Francis quoted words he allegedly heard from one of the experts. “This is the market. You make war, you sell old weapons, you test new ones," he quoted. However he did not explain how the Ukrainians would defend themselves unarmed against the Russians who bomb their cities and hospitals, rape their women and kidnap their children.
Swiss journalists also asked him what he would say to Putin if he met him today. “I would speak to him as clearly as I speak publicly. He's an educated man," he said. He added that on the second day of the war he went to the Russian embassy to propose a meeting in Moscow, but Lavrov wrote back that "there is no time for that”. However, Francis does not lose hope that the Russian criminal will finally honor him with attention. “Putin knows that I am available,” he stressed.
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