MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 26th May, 2023) Moscow is aware of the initiative of Pope Francis to send an envoy to Russia as a part of the peace initiative on the situation in Ukraine and positively assesses the Vatican's efforts, the Russian Foreign Ministry has told Sputnik.
Il Sismografo, a leading blogspot for Vatican-related news, reported last week that Pope Francis was planning to send envoys to Russia and Ukraine in efforts to end the Ukraine conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy agreed to hold talks with the pope's envoys to discuss a possible ceasefire in Ukraine, the report said.
"As far as we know, on May 20, Holy See spokesperson Matteo Bruni confirmed that Pope Francis was planning to send Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the president of the Episcopal Conference of Italy, to Russia as part of his peace initiative," the ministry said, adding that "no practical steps have been taken by the Vatican to organize his trip to Moscow as of today."
The ministry said it positively assesses the Vatican's efforts to "contribute to ending the conflict in Ukraine."
"We note the sincere desire of the Holy See to facilitate the peace process," the ministry said, adding that "any efforts in this direction will make sense only if one takes into account Russia's well-known principled position regarding possible peace talks."
The ministry recalled that "unlike Russia, which has been ready for an honest and open dialogue on the settlement in Ukraine from the very beginning, the Kiev regime has so far categorically rejected the very possibility of negotiations with Moscow and is betting on war."