Pope Francis Says Ready to Travel to Kiev on Condition of Twin Visit to Moscow

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis told Argentine daily La Nacion that he was ready to go to Kiev, but only on the condition of going on a similar trip to Moscow.

“I am willing to go to Kiev. I want to go to Kiev. But on condition of going to Moscow. I go to both cities or neither,” the pontiff said.

When told by the reporter that the visit to Moscow was “impossible,” Pope Francis expressed the hope that it could be arranged.

In January, the Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, expressed the hope Pope Francis could visit Ukraine in the near future.

The pontiff confirmed that the Holy See was making diplomatic efforts “to see if something can be achieved” but he denied that the Vatican had a “peace plan” at the ready. He said there was only “a desire to serve peace.”

Pope Francis also described his working relationship with the Russian ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Avdeyev, as “excellent” and the man as “very serious and professional.” He pointed out that Avdeyev understood the essence of the Ukrainian conflict, being the son of a Ukrainian and a Russian.

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