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NATO leader dismisses Pope’s comments on Ukraine

June 17, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: In interviews with Corriere della Sera and Jesuit magazine editors, Pope Francis linked the invasion of Ukraine with “NATO barking at Russia’s gate.”

At a June 16 press conference, Thomas Gutschker of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, about the Pope’s comments. (Gutschker asked his question in a ham-fisted way: “We all know the Pope can claim infallibility for his remarks. Maybe not for this one, but I’d be keen to hear your reply.”)

“So NATO is a defensive alliance and the war in Ukraine is President Putin’s war,” Stoltenberg replied. “This is a war that he has decided to conduct against an independent sovereign nation. And what NATO has been doing for many years is to support the sovereign independent nation in Europe, Ukraine.”

“This is not a threat to anyone,” Stoltenberg continued. “This is not a provocation. And that is what we continue to do. So, it is President Putin and Moscow that is responsible for this brutal aggression against the independent country Ukraine.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 18, 2022 12:12 AM ET USA

    As usual, the spokesmen for the West are missing the moral dimension of provocation for the special military operation undertaken by the Russians. It is threatening enough to have NATO missiles nearer Russian than Cuba is to the U.S. But given the close historic ties between Ukraine and Russia, and the commerce, cultural exchange in the Donbas, and former religious unity (until the last decade) between the two countries, the Russian Orthodox view the operation as a mercy extended to Ukraine.