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Russian Foreign Ministry: “No apology from the Vatican” on Pope's comments

Russia no longer considers the Vatican a suitable place for peace negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, according to Russia's Foreign Ministry. 

On Telegram, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, responded negatively to the Vatican Secretary of State's offer to host its negotiations with Ukraine. 

At a book presentation, Cardinal Pietro Parolin answered a question on the war by stating that the Vatican is the right meeting place for Russian and Ukrainian representatives, and that the Holy See is willing to host the negotiations.

But in her message, Zakharova referenced a recent interview in America magazine in which Pope Francis called the Russian state an invader and said the “cruelest” of the troops fighting for Russia are Chechens and Buryati, different ethnic groups within Russia. She added that the Vatican has yet to apologize for his comments. 

During the Pope's trip to Bahrain last month, Cardinal Parolin told journalists there were “small signs” of Russia's openness to working toward peace negotiations with the Holy See. 

The Vatican's top diplomat had met with Russian Foriegn Minister, Sergey Lavrov, just weeks prior during the UN General Assembly, who thanked him for suggesting that they meet. 

To promote more stability, more justice, and of course the rule of law. 

After the interview was published, the Russian ambassador to the Holy See lodged a formal complaint with Vatican officials to express his “indignation” over the Pope's comments.