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Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk (CNS/courtesy Ukrainian Catholic Church)

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church says a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine is impossible while Russia denies the foundations of international law. Source: Crux. 

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said his nation is the “party seeking dialogue” in the war with Russia, but claims “Russia does not consider Ukraine a subject of dialogue, and even more so, denies Ukraine’s right to exist”. 

“We often hear about negotiations as an alternative to military confrontation. We are again trying to understand: What is standing in the way of negotiations? Is dialogue between Russia, an aggressor country, a terrorist country, and Ukraine at all possible? And if not, then what stands in his way? We hear accusations against Ukraine that it seems to be refusing negotiations or is not yet ready, does not have the courage for them,” Major Archbishop Shevchuk said.

Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014 and launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

There have been increased aerial attacks by both sides in the past few days, and intense fighting continues in the east of the country.

Pope Francis recently caused controversy in an interview by implying that Ukraine ought to raise a “white flag” and open negotiations in its war with Russia.

Speaking on February 2 – but released in early March – Francis said, “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.”

However, in his statement released on Monday, Major Archbishop Shevchuk said any international ceasefire agreement must be based on the norms and principles of international law.

“As long as Russia, as an aggressor, denies the foundations of international law, a peace agreement will be impossible,” the Major Archbishop said.

“We declare in all truth that Ukraine from the beginning of the confrontation acted as a party seeking dialogue. At the initiative of the President of Ukraine, everything possible was done to stop the aggressor through negotiations. However, the whole world saw that Russia does not consider Ukraine a subject of dialogue, and even more so, denies Ukraine’s right to exist,” he said.


Major Archbishop Shevchuk says peace agreement in Ukraine ‘impossible’ (Crux)