Pope 'will do everything possible' for peace in Ukraine

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (R) meets with Pope Francis during a private audience on April 26, 2014 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO POOL/ VINCENZO PINTO

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis told Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Saturday that he will "do everything possible" for peace in the country, amid fears that Russia could be about to invade.

The Ukrainian premier is cutting short his trip to Rome and will miss the canonisation of John Paul II and John XXIII, as tensions mount in the eastern part of the ex-Soviet country and Western nations threaten sanctions.

Yatsenyuk spent 18 minutes behind closed doors with the pope, who had urged the international community to "prevent violence" in Ukraine in his Easter Sunday message.

At an exchange of gifts, Yatsenyuk presented Francis with a photograph of Maidan square in Kiev on New Year's night.

"This is where Ukrainians fought for their freedom and rights. Millions of people," he said.

The pope in return gave the Ukraine leader a pen, saying "I hope this pen will sign the peace", to which Yatsenyuk replied "I hope so."

As the two leaders parted, Francis put his hand on his chest and said "I will do everything possible" for peace.

The Group of Seven rich countries have agreed to slap new sanctions on Moscow as early as Monday amid fears in the West that Russia could be about to invade.

Nerves frayed after pro-Russian rebels holding a group of international OSCE observers in the area earlier Saturday accused them of being "NATO spies" and vowed to continue detaining them.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here