Pope can’t mediate, he’s pro-Russian says Zelensky aide

(ANSA) – ROME, SEP 8 – Pope Francis cannot mediate in the Ukraine war because he is pro-Russian, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s senior advisor said Friday after Francis last week cited ‘the great mother Russia’ in urging young Russian to learn from their cultural heritage.
The pope’s comment, which he later insisted were strictly cultural, irked Kyiv which accused Francis of legitimising past and present imperialist drives by Moscow.
On Friday Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelensky’s chief advisor, in a long and polemical conversation with Oksana Kharkovska on Ukraine’s Channel 24 – relaunched by the Vatican news site ‘Il Sismografo’ – said: “No mediation role for the Pope, he is pro-Russian, not credible”.
He said Kyiv therefore excludes the possibility of Vatican mediation to resolve the military conflict on Ukrainian territory. Podolyak also hinted at Russian investments in the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).