Francis says the Ukrainian crisis still could become an opportunity for wise statesman to build a better world.
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As he does almost every week, the Pope urged prayer for peace in Ukraine and the whole world.
After praying the midday Angelus on July 3, he said this:
Let us continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and throughout the world. I appeal to the leaders of nations and international organizations to react to the tendency to escalate conflict and opposition. The world needs peace. Not a peace based on the parity of arms, on reciprocal fear. No, that won’t work. That is setting history back 70 years.
The Ukrainian crisis should have been, but – if one wishes – it can still become, a challenge for wise statesmen, capable of building in dialogue a better world for new generations. With God’s help, this is always possible.
But we must move from strategies of political, economic and military power to a project of global peace: not a world divided between conflicting powers, but a world united among peoples and civilizations that respect each other.
More than four months have passed since the beginning of the Russian offensive on Ukraine on February 24. Large-scale fighting is currently going on in the Donbass, especially in the city of Lissychansk, which is under siege by Russian forces. As well, Belarus, a country allied with Moscow, has accused Ukraine of having launched missiles on its territory.
Beyond Ukraine, other areas of tension have emerged in recent days, notably around the Kaliningrad enclave, a Russian territory bordering Poland and Lithuania, as well as in Scandinavia.
The blocking of supplies to a small Russian settlement on the island of Spitsbergen, under Norwegian sovereignty, has also become a subject of tension between Norway and Russia. In addition, the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining NATO has led to threats from Russia.