According to Pope Francis, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said to him late April that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to halt the invasion of Ukraine on May 9 — Russia’s Victory Day.
The Pope mentioned this in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera published Tuesday.
“Orban, when I met him, he told me that the Russians have a plan, that everything will be over on May 9th,” Pope Francis said.
“This would also explain the speed of the escalation of these days. Because now it’s not just the Donbas, it’s Crimea, it’s Odesa, it’s taking away the Black Sea port from Ukraine, it’s everything.” he added.
There is not enough will for peace,” the Pope said. “I am pessimistic, but we must make every possible gesture to stop the war.”
Furthermore, Pope Francis restated earlier statements that he is ready to travel to Moscow to convene with Putin.
The pope also compared the war in Ukraine to the genocide in Rwanda.
“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 right now. But so much brutality, how can you not stop it?.
“Twenty-five years ago we experienced the same thing with Rwanda,” Pope Francis said.
According to the Pope, he will not travel to Kyiv for now, instead sending a representative.
“First I have to go to Moscow, first I have to meet Putin. But I’m a priest too, what can I do? I’ll do whatever I can. If Putin opened the door,” he added.