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Kyiv Summons Vatican Envoy Over Pope’s ‘White Flag’ Comments


Ukraine on Monday summoned the Vatican's envoy to Kyiv after Pope Francis suggested the country should consider raising "the white flag" against Russia, causing fury in Kyiv.

Ukraine has angrily rejected Pope Francis's suggestion to negotiate with Russia two years after its invasion, vowing "never" to surrender to Moscow.

"Due to the statements of Pope Francis the Apostolic Nuncio was invited to the ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine," the ministry said on social media, using the term for a Vatican diplomat.

It added that the envoy, Visvaldas Kulbodas, was told Kyiv was "disappointed with the words of the Pontiff regarding the 'white flag'."

The ministry said the Catholic leader's words "encourage them [Russia] to further disregard international law."

"The head of the Holy See should have sent signals to the international community about the need to immediately unite forces to ensure the victory of good over evil, as well as appealed to the attacker, not the victim," it added.

The 87-year-old pontiff had said in an interview aired over the weekend: "I believe that the strongest are those who see the situation, think about the people and have the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate."

The comments fueled anger in Kyiv — not the first time the country has been angered by the Pope's comments during Russia's two-year invasion.

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