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Pope Francis Blames NATO For Starting The War In Ukraine

Pope Francis Blames NATO For Starting The War In Ukraine

The figurehead of the Roman Catholic Church puts Putin's invasion down to NATO provocation - a comment which has received massive backlash

Pope Francis has suggested that NATO expansionism is to blame for the Ukrainian crisis as the international organisation has been 'barking at Russia's door'.

The Pontiff's comments come on the back of his offer to travel to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin and potentially help broker a ceasefire.

His refusal thus far to lay the blame entirely at the feet of Putin, who launched Russia's invasion of Ukraine back in February, has been widely condemned in The West.

When asked whether he would still be willing to go to Kyiv to try and help negotiate a resolution, the 85-year-old instead mooted Moscow as his first destination of choice.

Pope Francis (Alamy)
Pope Francis (Alamy)

“I feel that before going to Kyiv, I must go to Moscow,” he told Corriere Della Sera on Tuesday. But the trip wouldn't be made in order to berate Putin, based on what he told the outlet. Instead, he claims that the real 'scandal' of Putin’s war is 'NATO barking at Russia’s door', which he said caused the Kremlin to 'react badly and unleash the conflict'.

The Argentine native also weighed in on the issue of arming Ukraine against Russia, in light of possible war crimes committed by Putin's forces.

“I don’t know how to answer - I’m too far away - the question of whether it is right to supply the Ukrainians,” he stated to the Italian paper.

“The clear thing is that weapons are being tested there. The Russians now know that tanks are of little use and are thinking of other things. Strangely, even if there was a desire to meet from both sides, its highly unlikely that Pope Francis would be able to travel to Moscow or Kyiv.

This is because he is currently unable to walk after tearing a ligament in his knee, for which he will soon undergo surgery.

According to Yahoo, Pope Francis has spoken a handful of times to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, while Putin, by contrast, won't answer his calls.

The Pope has continued to peddle unsubstantiated claims since the very inception of the war, blaming the international community for provoking Russia.

Vladimir Putin has warned against intervention in the war.

“You cannot think that a free state can make war on another free state,” he said.

“In Ukraine, it seems that it was others who created the conflict. I am pessimistic but we must do everything possible to stop the war.”

The Pope has also suggested, rather randomly, that “the Russians have a plan, that everything will end on May 9”, without elaborating further. Incidentally, May 9 is the day Russia celebrates its liberation and the end of World War II.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Pope Francis, Ukraine, Russia, Vladimir Putin