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German government criticizes Pope's call to raise 'white flag'

German government criticizes Pope's call to raise 'white flag' Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The German government commented on the controversial statement made by the Pope in support of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia and the need to find the courage to raise the "white flag." These remarks by the pontiff did not find support among the country's leaders.

Read how the German government commented on the scandalous statement by Pope Francis in the material by RBC-Ukraine.

The following sources were used in preparing the material: The Guardian, Yahoo.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock sharply criticized Pope Francis' call for Ukraine to negotiate with Moscow, stating that she "did not understand" his position.

"I think some things you can only understand if you see them for yourself," she said.

While interacting with Ukrainian children affected by the war, Baerbock noted that the question was raised, "Where is the Pope?" She believes that Francis should be aware of "these things."

Additionally, the German Foreign Minister stated that if Ukraine and its allies "don’t show strength now, there will be no peace."

Furthermore, Berlin commented on Olaf Scholz's position regarding the scandalous statement by Francis.

"As you can imagine, the chancellor does not share the pope’s opinion on this issue," government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

He noted that Ukraine is defending itself against the aggressor and receiving significant international support to be able to defend itself from an aggressive war that violates international law.

Scandalous statement by the Pope

The day before, Reuters published a fragment of an interview with the Pope for the Swiss television channel RSI. In the interview, the pontiff, responding to a question about whether Ukraine should raise the "white flag" and negotiate with Russia, supported such a position.

In the Vatican, it was later stated that the Pope did not mean for Ukraine to capitulate. According to Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni, the pontiff was only talking about the need for negotiations.

However, the words of the Pope sparked a flurry of criticism among Western leaders and politicians. The pontiff's statement was criticized, particularly in Latvia and Poland. And Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Pope Francis not to repeat the mistakes of the past and to support Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also sharply reacted to the statement. He emphasized that Russian occupiers are not advancing further into Europe only because they are being restrained by Ukrainians, both men and women, with weapons in their hands and under the blue and yellow flag.

Later, the Japanese government reacted to Francis' controversial statement, stating that Ukraine's will should be respected.

Ukrainian clergy also reacted to the statement by the Pope. In their statements, religious representatives emphasized that Ukraine's capitulation is impossible because it would mean death for its people.