| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Russia’s Lavrov sets out stance on Ukraine to Vatican counterpart in call

In a phone call on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained Moscow’s perspective on the Ukraine crisis to Vatican State Secretary Pietro Parolin, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to the ministry, Parolin voiced worry over the situation in Ukraine.

According to the statement, Lavrov “outlined the fundamental Russian viewpoint about the origins and purposes of the special military operation being carried out in Ukraine.”

Both parties expressed hope that a fourth round of talks between Moscow and Kyiv would be held as soon as possible to agree on the main problems underlying the crisis and to stop hostilities, the ministry added.

The Vatican did not release a statement on the call.

Ukraine has said it would welcome Vatican mediation and Parolin, who ranks second to Pope Francis in the Vatican hierarchy, has said it is willing to “facilitate” dialogue”.

Parolin has said the war was “unleashed by Russia”.

Francis has not yet blamed Russia by name but implicitly rejected Moscow’s use of the term “special military operation” for its invasion of Ukraine.

  • Reuters