Ukraine “completely ready” to participate in Holy See-led mediation, ambassador says

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Diplomats accredited to the Holy See from around the world gathered in St. Peter's Basilica for a Mass for peace, and to hear directly from the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. 

Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy to the Holy See
Cardinal Parolin had a really powerful message today. He reminded us that all men and women have a duty to be peacekeepers, and he was also very clear that as the Pope said, this is no special operation, this is a war.

The Vatican has strongly condemned the war in Ukraine in recent days, and Pope Francis has expressed his concern for the millions of refugees escaping Ukraine. He has sent two cardinals into the country to express his closeness to those fleeing war, and publicly thanked nearby countries for welcoming them, such as Poland.

Polish Ambassador to the Holy See
We are helping our Ukrainian brothers as much as possible. There are already two million refugees in Poland and there are more and more coming.

The Mass for peace was an opportunity for the Vatican to promote its peace efforts with representatives from the world's governments, bringing members of the international community together in solidarity for peace, including both Russia and Ukraine's ambassadors to the Holy See, who were each seated in the front rows.

British Ambassador to the Holy See
I was glad to see the Ukrainian ambassador was given a pride of place in spite of the protocol order. It was good to see that the Russian ambassador was there and I hope that his government was listening to the cries of the world for peace in Ukraine.

Andrii Yurash arrived in Rome on March 3. As Ukraine's top diplomat to the Holy See, he has immediately been plunged in deep collaboration with the Vatican to advance potential negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

Ukrainian ambassador-designate to the Holy See
We want to see Vatican, Holy See, as a place where representatives of both sides can sit to discuss openly any situations and consequences and how to reach the aim, to reach peace.

He says the Vatican is uniquely positioned to bring both sides to the table, and is hopeful that Russia will respond to the Vatican's offer to mediate the conflict. 

Ukrainian ambassador-designate to the Holy See
Ukraine is completely ready to be here the next day when it will be agreed. We are, as well as the Holy See just waiting for a positive response from the other side, from Russia.

Pope Francis made the unprecedented move of traveling to the Russian embassy after Russia launched its invasion, but the Vatican says that so far, Russia shows no sign of engaging them in talks. 

Still, Ukraine's new ambassador to the Holy See says he is deeply touched by the support of the diplomatic community in the Vatican.


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