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Cardinal Pietro Parolin (EWTN)

The Vatican has insisted that Russia and Ukraine know of its efforts to negotiate a ceasefire, after the warring parties denied any knowledge of a peace mission. Source: The Tablet.

Both Kyiv and Moscow said that they had neither heard of nor endorsed the scheme mentioned by Pope Francis during an in-flight press conference on Sunday, when he said there was “a mission in course now but it is not yet public”.

A member of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said that the Ukrainian government was not party to any such scheme.

“If talks are happening, they are without our knowledge or our blessing,” the official told CNN.

Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, said that the Kremlin was unaware of a Vatican mission.

On Wednesday, the Holy See’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, expressed surprise at their reaction.

Speaking after a book launch in Rome, he said that “to my knowledge, they were and are aware”, but observed that “amid the maze of bureaucracy it may be that communications did not get where they are supposed to”.

“As far as I know, they know,” he told reporters. “Both parties have been informed.”

Cardinal Parolin said he did not know “what motivation or reasoning” lay behind the denials of the Vatican efforts but declined to mention further details of the mission.

Speaking in Luxembourg last week, the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, acknowledged the lack of progress in the Vatican’s attempts at mediation but said they would continue.

Parolin: Russia and Ukraine know of Vatican peace mission (By Patrick Hudson, The Tablet)