Spectacular interview – The pope rebels against NATO… – Foreign policy

Rarely have the words of the Pope been so polarized!

In an interview (with the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera”), Francis (85) blamed NATO for Putin’s barbaric war of aggression.

The pope described NATO’s eastward expansion as NATO’s “barking” at Russia’s door. He wouldn’t go so far as to say that NATO’s presence in neighboring countries was “provoking” Moscow. But: They “may have facilitated” the invasion.

Even though the Pope is clearly trying to mediate and find a peaceful solution, the strange NATO allegations and the fact that he wants to visit Kremlin despot Vladimir Putin first before coming to Kyiv are criticized.

“Famous Russian Propaganda”

Security policy expert Markus Kaim of the “Foundation for Science and Policy” (SWP) on BILD: “Unfortunately, the Pope is repeating well-known Russian propaganda which has no basis. NATO has no neither promised Russia not to expand to the east, nor is it hostile to the Russians – on the contrary.

In fact, NATO is purely a defense alliance. In his interview, the Pope leaves open why Putin should have felt threatened by them.

Explosive: A few weeks ago President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and Mayor of kyiv Vitali Klitschko invited the Argentinian to come to the war-torn country. Klitschko would not comment on Wednesday’s BILD request.

► After all, François compared Putin’s war to the bloodbath in Rwanda in 1994 with at least 500,000 dead. So with a beastly GENOCIDE with a clear demarcation line between perpetrators and victims.

The reaction of the Kremlin: For the moment no meeting with Putin is possible!

We already knew it before the interview: Pope Francis is looking for a conversation with the Kremlin warmonger. He had even presented himself in person at the Russian embassy to the Holy See to “ask for explanations” shortly after the start of the war. In mid-March, the pontiff officially submitted the request for a meeting in Moscow – the pope is also the head of state.

Could be Putin’s last chance

The key phrase of the interview, which is clearly aimed at breaking the radio silence after the self-invitation to Moscow: “So far we have not received an answer, but we continue to insist, even if I fear that Putin cannot and does not want to attend this meeting at the present time. But how else can such brutality be stopped? Twenty-five years ago, we experienced the same thing in Rwanda…”

The point here is that the – almost obsequious – demand for talks comes at a bad time for Putin, since his propaganda has just succeeded in launching the perfidious accusation in the West that Putin is pushed to his limits, which he can no longer find a face-saving solution and therefore unfortunately must trigger a nuclear war.

Giving in after talks with the pope could secure one last vestige of international recognition – if Putin withdraws all his troops immediately.

François is inexperienced as a diplomat

The diplomatic line that Francis follows is extremely thin. Considering that his foreign policy initiatives – example: Venezuela – have done far more harm than good and that he has no experience as an international mediator, the interview tends to prove his ability to learn.

However, even before Crimea was annexed under international law, critics had accused the Vatican of being too close to Russia. In fact, there were already at the time of pope em. Benedict XVI (95) Vatican diplomats who claimed that when in doubt, Putin was closer to Vatican interests than Obama, which caused considerable irritation (and once heated argument), especially among the German correspondents of the Vatican.

Victim of a civilian murder in Bucha, a suburb of kyiv: Putin's army faces war crimes chargesFoto: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP

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Victim of a civilian murder in Bucha, a suburb of kyiv: Putin’s army faces war crimes chargesPhoto: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP

Plain text to Putin’s friend Kyrill I.

Controversial then as now: the attempt to reconcile the Church of Rome with the Russian Orthodox Church while ignoring certain personality traits of Cyril II. Of his embarrassing penchant for luxury watches. And his unconditional support for Putin in the murderous attack on Ukraine.

Pope Francis was considered no less suspect than his predecessor in this regard. But his distancing in the “Corriere della Sera” interview is remarkable: “I spoke to Kyrill for 40 minutes via zoom. For the first twenty, he read me the justifications for the war with a piece of paper in his hand “, complains François. And he went further: he had explained to Kyrill that he “could not become Putin’s sidekick”.

Consequence: the pope canceled a meeting between the two clergymen scheduled for mid-June.

The Russian Orthodox Church reacted with Stocksauer: “It is regrettable that a month and a half after his conversation with Patriarch Cyril, Pope Francis chose the wrong tone to report on the content of this conversation”, indicates a press release from the Outer Church Department. Reports.

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