Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin 12-06-2015
Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin, Two Global Powers, May Form An Unlikely Friendship — Or Test Each Other’s Patience
12th June 2015 News
No one wants to mess with Russian President Vladimir Putin — or as Putin would say, no one wants to deal with the consequences of dipping into Russia Bear’s honey pot. But if there’s one person on Earth who could soften the Russian leader, it would be Pope Francis, who’s shaping up to be the international arbitrator we needed. Francis will meet with Putin at the Vatican on Wednesday, a move that may make or break their burgeoning relationship.
It’s worth noting that Putin was unceremoniously excluded from the G7 Summit, so it’s truly the work of God that Francis has extended an invitation to the Russian politician. This will only be the second meeting between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and Russia’s supreme leader, and it reportedly has the Vatican on edge.
According to The Guardian, Kenneth Hackett, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, told reporters during a news briefing this week that Vatican aides are trying to push Francis toward the offense. It’s time, Hackett said, for Francis to get tough on Russia and its annexation of Crimea, a Russian-majority area that was formerly part of Ukraine until early 2014. The Russian annexation sparked aggressive military conflict in eastern Ukraine, and warfare is still ongoing despite several promises of ceasefires and year-long sanctions enacted by the United States and the European Union.
Hackett said Francis, who’s been something of a diplomat during his papacy, is certainly aware of the ongoing violence in Ukraine. The U.S. ambassador told reporters that he’s hoping the pontiff will “say more about concerns on territorial integrity” when he sits down with Putin on Wednesday.