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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Russia, West must settle differences to achieve peace, cardinal says

Peace and an end to violent conflicts around the world should be placed above any national interests when it comes to the relationship between Western countries and Russia, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

Ahead of his visit to Russia at the end of August, the Vatican secretary of state said that differences between Russia and the West are often highlighted “as if they were different worlds, each with their own values, their own interests, a national or transnational pride, and even their own concept of international law to oppose others.”

“The effort to understand each other does not mean the yielding of one to the position of the other. It is rather a patient, constructive, frank, and at the same time, respectful dialogue,” Cardinal Parolin said in an interview with Il Regno, an Italian Catholic magazine, published on 27th July.

Calm, persistent efforts to promote understanding, he said, are “even more important on the questions which are at the origin of current conflicts and on those that risk provoking a further increase in tension.”

While recently “there has been a period of uncertainty” regarding Russia’s position on various issues, including on Syria, Cardinal Parolin said efforts to reach mutual understanding and discovering solutions to various world crises should “be placed above any national or, in any case, partisan interest.”

Picture: People hold a Russian flag as they celebrate Russia Day. (Valery Matytsin/TASS).