Pope: Peace will come when Russia and Ukraine are able to speak to each other
The conversation with journalist Julio Vaqueiro took place on Thursday in a room at the Augustinianum Institute in Rome, a few metres from the Vatican, where Pope Francis met with Latin American and European mayors attending the Scholas Occurrentes 'Eco-Educational Cities' conference. Vaqueiro himself moderated the meeting. First, however, he conducted the interview with the Pope on the issues of war, abortion and celibacy, his health, migrants who leave their homeland 'out of necessity', the prayer of the faithful which is like 'an armour'.
One question concerned his recent meeting with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and his words to the media about not needing intermediaries. "That was not the tone of the conversation," the Pope clarified, pointing out that Zelensky "asked him for a very big favour" and that was to "take care of the children who had been taken to Russia."
"They do not dream so much of mediations, because in reality the blockade of Ukraine is very strong: all of Europe, the United States. So they have a very big force of their own. What causes them a lot of pain - and they ask for help for - is to try to bring the children back to Ukraine,' the Pope explained.
The interviewer then asked, "to achieve peace, do you think Russia should return those territories?" The Pope responded by saying: "It is a political problem."