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Pope says Ukraine should have ‘courage of the white flag’ of negotiations



Pope says Ukraine should have 'courage of the white flag' of negotiations

Pope says Ukraine should have ‘courage of the white flag’ of negotiations


Pope Francis has said in an interview that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the “white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia that followed Moscow’s full-scale invasion two years ago and that has killed tens of thousands.

In the interview recorded with Swiss broadcaster RSI, due to be broadcast on March 20 as part of a new cultural program, Francis was asked for his position on a debate between those who say Ukraine should give up as it has not been able to repel Russian forces, and those who say doing so would legitimize actions by the strongest party.

The interviewer used the term “white flag” in the question.

It was believed to be the first time Francis has used terms such as “white flag” or “defeated” in discussing the Ukraine war, although he has spoken in the past about the need for negotiations.

Last year the 87-year-old pope sent a peace envoy, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, to Kyiv, Moscow and Washington to sound out leaders in those countries.

Last month Zelenskiy said that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the Russian invasion in February 2022 and that tens of thousands of civilians had been killed in the occupied areas of the country.

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