Troops in Ukraine Troops in Ukraine 

Pope reiterates call for peace in Ukraine as diplomatic efforts continue

During the General Audience on Wednesday, the Pope describes war as “madness” and appeals for dialogue as a way of overcoming tensions and threats of conflict in Ukraine.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Following his catechesis during the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis appealed for peace in Ukraine.

In his remarks, the Pope thanked all the communities who joined in prayer for peace in the country on 26 January.

“We continue to implore the God of peace that tensions and threats of war be overcome through serious dialogue, and that the Normandy format talks may also contribute to this end. Let us not forget: war is madness,” he said.

Diplomatic efforts

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been ongoing for years.

Most recently, Russia began moving troops and military equipment near its border with Ukraine late last year, raising concerns of a potential invasion.

In the latest developments, diplomatic efforts have been gathering pace in a bid to defuse the situation.

Following talks with President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he believed steps can be taken to de-escalate the crisis and called on all sides to stay calm.

Both Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had told him they were committed to the principles of a 2014 peace agreement, he said, adding that this deal, known as the Minsk accords, offered a path to resolving their ongoing disputes.

Meeting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later in Berlin, both Macron and the chancellor said, "Our common goal is to prevent a war in Europe."

Macron and Scholz also met in Berlin with Polish President Andrzej Duda. The French presidency said after the talks the three leaders expressed their joint support for Ukrainian sovereignty.

Threatened Sanctions

The United States and European Union have threatened Russia with sanctions if it attacks Ukraine. However, Moscow has largely dismissed new sanctions as an empty threat.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned on Monday that if Russia invaded Ukraine, "there will be no longer Nord Stream 2," referring to a newly built, as yet unopened gas pipeline to Germany. 

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09 February 2022, 11:21