Pope Francis urges politicians to examine their consciences in the face of Ukraine crisis

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Pope Francis on Wednesday lamented the threat of war in Ukraine, saying he considered the situation “increasingly worrying”, and urged leaders involved in the crisis to examine their consciences before taking action that provokes it. Suffering.

“Despite the diplomatic efforts of these last few weeks, we have an increasingly worrying situation before us,” he said after his weekly audience. “I ask all parties involved to refrain from carrying out actions that could cause even more suffering to peoples.”

The Argentine pontiff launched an appeal “to all those who have political responsibilities to make a serious examination of conscience before God, who is a God of peace and not of war”, so that “we are brothers and not enemies”.

“I have a lot of pain in my heart because of the worsening situation in Ukraine,” Francis said, adding that peace was threatened by partisan interests.

“I appeal to all sides to refrain from any action that could cause more suffering to populations, destabilize coexistence between nations and discredit international law.”

Francis proclaimed the upcoming March 2, Ash Wednesday, the date that marks the beginning of Lent for Catholics, as “a day of fasting and prayer for peace” in Ukraine.

It was the second time the pope has called an international day of prayer for peace in Ukraine. The first was on January 26th.

“May the Queen of Peace save the world from the madness of war,” Francis asked.

Deployment of troops and sanctions

The United States and its allies have accused Russia of violating international law by authorizing the deployment of troops to breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine and recognizing the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as independent republics.

Since November, Putin has been massing troops in military exercises around the neighboring country — at least 150,000 troops, according to the US. Moscow denies that it will invade the country, but after recognizing rebel territories, it has ordered Russian troops to occupy it in a “peacekeeping” mission.

The US, European Union, UK, Australia, Canada and Japan then announced sanctions to target banks and elites, while Germany suspended a major Russian gas pipeline project.

Despite recent actions, Russia has said it is still willing to negotiate to resolve the crisis peacefully.

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