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Ukrainian FM tells Pope: “Our flag is yellow and blue. No others will fly”

Pope Francis has faced criticism for suggesting that Ukraine should have the courage to raise the “white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia.
Ukrainian FM tells Pope: "Our flag is yellow and blue. No others will fly"
Pope Francis. Photo: Vatican news
Ukrainian FM tells Pope: “Our flag is yellow and blue. No others will fly”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has stated that Kyiv will not raise any flag other than its national one in response to Pope Francis’ recent remarks calling for Ukraine to “raise the white flag” and negotiate with Russia.

Pope Francis has faced intense criticism over his comments, suggesting that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the “white flag” to negotiate an end to the war with Russia.

“Our flag is a yellow and blue one. This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags,” wrote Kuleba on X/Twitter. 

The head of the Catholic Church made the remarks in an interview recorded last month with Swiss broadcaster RSI, but partially released on Saturday.

“I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates,” Francis said, urging Ukraine not to be ashamed to negotiate.

The Pope’s remarks have sparked widespread condemnation from Ukraine and its allies, with many interpreting them as a call for Ukraine to surrender. 

German politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the German parliament’s defense committee, expressed her shame as a Catholic.

“Before the Ukrainian victims raise the white flag, the Pope should loudly and unmistakably call on the brutal Russian perpetrators to take down their pirate flag — the symbol of death and Satan,” said Strack-Zimmermann.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski echoed this sentiment.

“How about, for balance, encouraging Putin to have the courage to withdraw his army from Ukraine? Peace would immediately ensue without the need for negotiations,” he wrote on X/Twitter.

In an attempt to clarify the Pope’s comments, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni explained that the journalist interviewing Francis used the term “white flag,” prompting the Pope to use it in his answer. 

Bruni emphasized that the Pope supports a “diplomatic solution for a just and lasting peace” and that negotiation does not equate to surrender.

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