Vatican says ready to ‘facilitate dialogue’ between Russia and Ukraine

Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, New York, United States, September 28 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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VATICAN CITY, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The Vatican is ready to “facilitate dialogue” between Russia and Ukraine to end the war, its top diplomat said on Monday.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who is second only to the pope in the Vatican hierarchy, told Italian newspapers that “despite the war launched by Russia against Ukraine”, he was “convinced that ‘there is always room for negotiations’.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash, told Reuters in a February 14 interview that Kyiv was open to mediation by the Vatican in its conflict with Russia, calling the Vatican “a very influential and very spiritual”. Read more

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Parolin told Italian newspapers that dialogue was the only “reasonable and constructive” way to resolve differences.

“The Holy See, which over these years has followed events in Ukraine constantly, discreetly and with great attention, offering to facilitate dialogue with Russia, is always ready to help both parties to resume such a path” , he said, according to a transcript on the official Vatican News website.

Pope Francis on Sunday made an impassioned call for humanitarian corridors to help refugees leave Ukraine and said those who wage war should not be deceived into thinking God is on their side. Read more

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Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Kim Coghill & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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