However, “We have not yet received an answer, and we are still insisting, even if I fear that Putin cannot and does not want to have this meeting at this time,” said the Pope.
“But how can this brutality not be stopped?” he added. “Twenty-five years ago we experienced the same thing with Rwanda.”
Pope Francis has called for an end to the war in Ukraine since it began on Feb. 24. In addition to calling for prayers to end the war, Pope Francis has spoken by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymer Zelensky, he has visited the Russian embassy to the Holy See, and publicly expressed his desire to meet with Putin.
As for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis has blamed NATO aggression to a degree.
“NATO’s barking at Russia’s door” has led the Kremlin to “react badly and unleash the conflict,” said the Pope, as reported by Vatican News.
The Pope also warned about further aggression by Russia.
“The Russians have a plan,” he said. “So, one would also understand the celerity of the escalation of these days. Because now it’s not just the Donbas, it’s Crimea, it’s Odessa, it’s taking away the Black Sea port from Ukraine, it’s everything. I am pessimistic, but we must make every possible gesture to stop the war.”