Speaking after the Regina Coeli prayer in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis expresses his hope for a decrease in military activities and tension in eastern Ukraine and prays for the suffering population. This is reported by Vatican News.
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.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been rising amid a build-up of Russian troops along the border of eastern Ukraine as well as in Crimea with renewed clashes between the army and pro-Russian separatists.
In the latest development, British warships are reportedly preparing to sail for the Black Sea to show solidarity with Ukraine and Britain's NATO allies.