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Kyiv: “The Pope as a mediator is not credible; he is pro-Russian”
Vita gazette – The irritating demands, threats and statements of the Ukrainian administration have reached the spiritual leader of the Christian world, Pope Francis. Mikhail Podolyak, Zelensky’s chief advisor, said: “The Pope as a mediator is not credible; he is pro-Russian.” Thus, Kyiv stopped the Pope’s mediation.
The Ukrainian administration’s accusations against neutral countries and individuals continue to increase. This time, Pope Francis was in the crosshairs. And the Pope’s mediation role was rejected. Pope Francis criticised NATO’s expansion to the Russian border at the start of the war in Ukraine and blamed it on international strategies.
President Zelensky’s right-hand man closes the door to Holy See mediation. And he harshly criticises Papa Francesco. Mikhail Podolyak, Zelensky’s chief advisor on Ukraine’s channel 24, in a long conversation with Oksana Kharkovska, said: “No mediation role for the Pope, he is pro-Russian, not credible. Kyiv excludes the possibility of Vatican mediation to resolve the military conflict on Ukrainian territory.” Podoliak had previously called the Pope “a tool of Russian propaganda” for telling Russian Catholics that they should protect their nation’s history. Podoliak said the Vatican would “deceive Ukraine and justice” if its mediation were allowed, adding: “It makes no sense to discuss a mediator titled Pope when he has a pro-Russian position that is now absolutely clear to everyone.”
Podoliak said the Pope “encouraged war,” contrary to the Vatican’s position. Referring to the financial institution officially known as the Institute for Religious Affairs, he suggested looking for a possible explanation in “investments made by Russia in the Vatican Bank”.
“The Vatican cannot have any mediation function because it would be a function that would deceive Ukraine or justice,” Podolyak said, adding that Kyiv – in this situation – will not receive a “fair assessment” from the Vatican.
“A mediator called Pope Francis…”
Podolyak criticised Pope Francis’ appeal to young Christians in Russia. “It makes no sense to talk about a mediator called Pope Francis if he takes a pro-Russian position which is completely evident to everyone,” Podolyak further stated, also referring to investments by the Russian Federation in the Vatican Bank: “We must look at the investments that Russia is doing it in the Vatican Bank. Why such a strange position in a country called the Vatican? We need to analyse this in a little more detail.”
In his speech last month, the Pope urged the Russian public to be proud of their country’s great history and culture. While Moscow said it appreciated the sentiment, Kyiv described it as support for Russia’s so-called imperial ambitions. The Vatican rejected Ukraine’s comment on the speech.
It was not the first time Podolyak attacked the Holy Father; in fact, the words that Pope Francis had addressed to the crowd of faithful gathered in St. Petersburg for Russian Youth Day had already been criticized (on his part): “Never forget your legacy. You are heirs of great Russia.”