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    Shocking words of the Pope: “NATO barking at Russia’s doors”

    Pope Francis said he was ready to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra, he spoke about the reasons for the Russian attack on Ukraine. He estimated that one of the possible reasons is “NATO barking at Russia’s door.”

    In an interview with an Italian newspaper, the Pope reported that after 20 days of the war in Ukraine, he had asked the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to tell Putin that he was ready to go to Moscow.


    “Certainly, it was necessary that the Kremlin leader opened a window. We still haven’t had a reply but we are still insisting, even though I fear Putin cannot and will not have a meeting at this time,” he said.


    Then he added, “But how can we stop so much brutality?”


    “I am not going to Kyiv yet,” the Pope said. He recalled that he had sent two Cardinals, Michael Czerny and Konrad Krajewski, to Ukraine.


    “But I feel like I shouldn’t go. I have to go to Moscow first. I have to see Putin. But I’m also a priest. What can I do? I’m doing what I can. If only Putin had opened his door” he marked.


    Francis recalled his March video interview with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill: 


    “During the first 20 minutes, he held a piece of paper and read all the reasons for the war. I listened and said, ‘I don’t understand anything of this. Brother — we are not altar boys of the state. We must use the language of Jesus, not the language of politics.’” he said.


    The Pope confirmed that he had planned his former meeting with Kirill on the 14th of June in Jerusalem. 


    He revealed what he had heard from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during the audience on 21 April:


    Francis said that when he met Viktor Orban on April 21 at the Vatican, the Hungarian prime minister told him: “the Russians have a plan, that it will all be over on May 9.” But Francis added: “I am pessimistic.”


    According to Francis, one of the possible reasons for Russia’s attack on Ukraine and Putin’s stance may have been “NATO barking at Russia’s door.”


    “I can’t say if it provoked anger, but it facilitated it,” he concluded.


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