Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for gestures that promote mutual trust and foster reconciliation in eastern Ukraine amid rising military tensions between Kiev and Moscow, Vatican News reports.
Speaking after the recitation of the Regina Coeli, the Pope described the situation as a "sad" one, and said he is “following with great concern events in areas of eastern Ukraine, where violations of the ceasefire have multiplied in recent months.”
Expressing his deep preoccupation for an increase in military activities in the area, he said: “I strongly hope an increase in tensions will be avoided, and, on the contrary, that gestures be made that are capable of promoting mutual trust and fostering reconciliation and peace, which are so much needed and so much desired.”
The Pope also highlighted the grave humanitarian situation affecting the population in the areas where tensions continue and said he is close to the people.
Finally, he asked the faithful present in the Square and those who were following through the media to join him in prayer for them.