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Pope about Putin: A man endowed with power inflames conflict based on nationalist interests

According to world news agencies, Pope Francis for the first time criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine.

In a speech to the Maltese government, to which he arrived today on a two-day visit, the pope said that “a man in power” inflames conflicts caused by nationalist interests.

“Gloomy shadows of war are now spreading from eastern Europe, from the land of the rising sun. We thought that invasions of other countries, brutal street fighting and nuclear threats were gloomy memories of the distant past,” the pope told Maltese authorities. “But the icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred, have taken the lives of many and affected us all,” he said.

“Once again, the man in power, unfortunately, succumbing to the anachronistic call of nationalist interests, provokes and inflames the conflict,” the Pope said.

In several previous cases, the Pope has strongly condemned unwarranted aggression and the brutality of war. But he mentioned Russia directly only in prayers such as the one at the World Peace Day on March 25.

“May the night of the war that has befallen humanity not allow dreams of peace to fade,” the Pope said.

“Let the night of the war that has befallen humanity not allow us to dream of peace,” the Pope said today.

Earlier on the plane, on his way to Malta, he said he was considering a trip to Kyiv. But he did not go into further details. The Pope was invited to visit Ukraine by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klychko, Ukrainian Ambassador to the Vatican Andriy Yuras and high-ranking Ukrainian clergy.

In his speech to the Maltese authorities, which the Pope delivered at the Presidential Palace in the Maltese capital Valletta, he also mentioned migration, according to France-Presse. The pope called for global and joint responses to the urgent need for migration. The call came at a time when millions of people are fleeing the war in Ukraine.

“The expanding migration emergency, we recall the refugees from the war-torn Ukraine, calls us to a great and universal response. It is impossible for some countries to bear the brunt of the whole problem and others to remain indifferent,” the pope said.

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