Pope Francis: "I have not gone to Kyiv yet because it was not possible to go to Moscow"
Flying back from his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, journalists reminded Pope Francis of his unusual gesture in 2019. During a meeting with the country's warring leaders, the Pope kissed their feet, asking them to reach an agreement that would end the war. The journalists asked him if he would be willing to do the same with the presidents of Ukraine and Russia. This was his response:
I am open to meeting with both presidents: both the Ukrainian and the Russian presidents. I am open to having the meeting. I haven't gone to Kyiv yet because it wasn't possible to go to Moscow at that time. But I had been in communication with them.
Actually, on the second day of the war, I went to the Russian embassy to say I wanted to go to Moscow to talk to Putin, if there was even a small window to negotiate. Then Minister Lavrov told me, "fine," so he could evaluate this. It was a "let's see about this later."