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Amazing interview – The Pope attacks NATO .. ​​- Politics abroad

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Rarely have the Pope’s words been so polarizing!

In an interview (with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera), Francis (85 years old) blamed NATO for Putin’s brutal war of aggression.

The Pope described NATO’s eastward expansion as a „barking” for NATO at the gates of Russia. He did not go so far as to say that NATO’s presence in neighboring countries „provoked” Moscow. But: they may have „facilitated” the invasion.

Even if the Pope is clearly trying to mediate and find a peaceful solution, the outlandish NATO claims and the fact that he first wants to travel to Kremlin tyrant Vladimir Putin before coming to Kyiv are met with criticism.

„Famous Russian Propaganda”

Security Policy Expert Markus Kayem of BILD’s Science and Policy Foundation (SWP): „Unfortunately, the Pope repeats well-known Russian propaganda that has absolutely no basis. NATO does not promise Russia not to expand in the East, nor is it anti-Russian – On the contrary „.

In fact, NATO is a purely defensive alliance. In his interview, the Pope leaves open why Putin should have felt threatened by them.

Explosive: Weeks ago, President Volodymyr Zelensky and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko of Argentina invited to come to the war-torn country. Klitschko did not want to comment on BILD’s request on Wednesday.

► After all, Francis compared Putin’s war to the bloodbath in Rwanda in 1994 with the lives of at least 500,000 dead. So with a brutal genocide with a clear dividing line between the perpetrators and the victims.

The Kremlin’s reaction: At the moment, no meeting with Putin is conceivable!

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It was already known before the interview: Pope Francis is looking for a conversation with the warmongers of the Kremlin. He even appeared in person at the Russian Embassy to the Holy See to „request clarifications” shortly after the start of the war. In mid-March, the Pope made an official request for a meeting in Moscow – the Pope is also the head of state.

Maybe it’s Putin’s last chance

The main sentence of the interview, which is clearly intended to end the radio silence after Moscow’s self-invitation: “So far we have not received an answer, but we continue to insist, even if I am afraid that Putin cannot and does not want to attend this meeting at present. But how to stop this brutality Twenty-five years ago we lived the same thing in Rwanda…”

The important thing here is that the demand for talks – almost acquiescent – comes at a bad time for Putin, as his propaganda has just succeeded in making the treacherous accusation in the West that Putin is receding into a corner, that he can no longer. Finding a solution saves face, and therefore, unfortunately, you must start a nuclear war.

Surrendering after talks with the Pope could ensure that the last vestiges of international recognition remain – if Putin immediately withdraws all forces.

Francis is inexperienced as a diplomat

The diplomatic line that Francis walks is very thin. If you take into account that his foreign policy initiatives – eg: Venezuela – have done far more harm than good, and that he has no experience as an international mediator, then the interview tends to be a testament to his ability to learn.

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However, even before the annexation of Crimea under international law, critics accused the Vatican of being too close to Russia. In fact, there was already in the time of Pope M. Benedict XVI (95) diplomats from the Vatican have claimed that when in doubt, Putin was closer to the interests of the Vatican than Obama, which caused great alarm (and previously heated debate) especially among German Vatican correspondents.


Victim of civilian murder in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv: Putin’s army must respond to accusations of war crimesPhoto: Ronaldo Schmidt/AFP

Plain text to Putin’s friend Kirill I.

Controversial then as now: the attempt to reconcile the Church of Rome with the Russian Orthodox Church by ignoring some personality traits of Cyril II. About his embarrassing fondness for luxury watches. And his unconditional support for Putin in the deadly attack on Ukraine.

Pope Francis was considered no less suspicious of his predecessor in this regard. But after him in the Corriere della Sera interview was striking: “I spoke to Cyril for 40 minutes via zoom. At twenty, he read me the justifications for war with a piece of paper in his hand,” Francis complained. And he went even further: he made it clear to Creel that he „could not become Putin’s aide”.

The result: the Pope canceled a meeting of church officials that had been scheduled for mid-June.

The Russian Orthodox Church responded with Stocksauer: “It is unfortunate that after a month and a half of his conversation with Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis chose the wrong tone for reporting the content of this conversation,” reads a statement from the Church’s Foreign Relations Service.

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Only agree to surrender: This is how Turkey blackmails the West in the NATO conflict – Politics

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Recep Zarakulu has been an enemy of the Turkish state for half a century. After the military coup of 1971, the 74-year-old appeared in court for the first time – due to contacts with Amnesty International.

Zarakulu later co-founded the Turkish Association for Human Rights and published books on the Armenian Genocide and the Kurdish Question as a publisher.

Today, he is on a list of 40 alleged „terrorists” whose extradition Turkey has made a condition of Finland and Sweden agreeing to NATO membership. The Zaracolo case shows why Turkey has so far been unable to convince the West of its demands.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

Finnish and Swedish negotiators spoke for the first time about the NATO dispute with Turkish government officials in Ankara on Wednesday. Then Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish presidential office and advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke about the positive attitude of the Nordic countries towards Turkey’s demand to lift the arms embargo imposed since 2019.

But Turkey is not satisfied with that. She is asking for tangible proof from Helsinki and Stockholm that they are moving away from The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is run as a terrorist organization. They also insist on handing over opponents of the Turkish government.

Zaracolo has lived in Sweden for ten years

According to Ankara, 28 people in Sweden and 12 in Finland on the Turkish list are dangerous enemies of the state and can be attributed to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, far-left groups or the movement of Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the Haberturk news channel that Turkey does not want to hear excuses such as referring to EU rules. Turkey’s demands must be met — even if Finland and Sweden have to change their laws to allow for deliveries.

The Turkish side accused Recep Zarakulu (here 2008), among other things, of supporting a violent coup.Photo: John McDougall/AFP

Zaracolo is watching developments from Sweden, where he has lived for nearly ten years. He told exiled radio station Ozguruz Radio that he did not believe he would be extradited.

Sweden’s highest court had refused to extradite him in 2019. Contrary to what is happening in Turkey, Zarakulu said, the government in Sweden has to abide by court decisions. Ankara might assume that the government in Stockholm can act like the Turkish government in its own country: by pressuring the judiciary to enforce its will.

Two years ago, I started new investigations

The Zaracolo case illustrates how far apart European countries and Turkey are in understanding the law. A human rights activist in Turkey should not be imprisoned for using or advocating violence.

He was convicted of giving a lecture at a legitimate Kurdish party. According to the Turkish judiciary, he was convicted of supporting a terrorist organization.

Two years ago, the Turkish Prosecutor General’s Office launched new investigations against him: In an article in the left-wing newspaper „Evrensel”, Zarakulu compared Erdogan to former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was executed in 1961 after a military coup. . Prosecutors accused Zaracolo of calling for the article’s overturn to be violent.

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Zarakulu said in the interview that there was no legal basis for extradition – after talks in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan’s advisor Kalin said the exact opposite: there is no legal basis for refusing to extradite „terrorists”.

There is also a deceased person on the list

Bulent Kenes, the former editor-in-chief of a newspaper affiliated with the Gülen movement, is also on Turkey’s extradition list. He is accused of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. Another opponent of the government, Kurdish politician and journalist Mehmet Sirak Bilgin, is on Turkey’s extradition list but died seven years ago.

the list It could potentially serve as a bargaining chip in modern poker, which Ankara could give up in exchange for concessions. The most important thing for Turkey is to end the arms embargo imposed on European countries. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has made it clear that her country does not send weapons or money to terrorist organizations.

The Turkish government accuses Sweden of supporting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria.

Erdogan’s veto threat prevents Finland and Sweden, which are seeking NATO protection because of Russia’s war against Ukraine, from easily joining NATO.

Turkey faces a lack of understanding on the part of its allies. Only Russia is benefiting from the conflict, the German ambassador to Turkey, Jürgen Schulz, said at a security conference in Istanbul. Christoph Heusgen, president of the Munich Security Conference, said at the event that Turkey could better solve its problems with Finland and Sweden after they joined NATO more than before.

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The export of gas and other fuels brings Russia several billions of additional revenue. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said some of the money could be used in the Ukraine war.

Russia expects an additional income equivalent to 13.7 billion euros this year from the export of fossil fuels. „We expect up to an additional trillion rubles in oil and gas revenues,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state television on Friday, referring to the Economic Development Ministry’s latest forecast. Part of the extra income can be used to continue the Russian attack on Ukraine.

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He said the government wanted to spend the extra revenue this year rather than putting it aside. The finance minister said the money should be spent on „additional payments” to pensioners, families with children and „special operation” in Ukraine, citing Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Gas and oil have so far been excluded from sanctions

The West has imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow to punish the Kremlin for sending troops to Ukraine. So far, Russian oil and gas supplies have been exempted from sanctions. Russia is currently reaping record revenues due to the high price of gas.

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