Pope pained by Ukraine crisis

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ROME: Pope Francis said that he was pained by the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and called for restrain after Russian recognized two rebel-held ‘republics’ in the east of the country and sent in troops.

  • I have a great pain in my heart for the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine, Pope Francis said.

He said the threat of war in Ukraine had caused “great pain in my heart” and he urged leaders to make a serious examination of conscience before God about any actions they might take.

I pray for all the parties involved to abstain from all action that provokes even more suffering to the people, discrediting international law. I would like to appeal to those who have political responsibility to seriously examine their consciences before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, the father of all of us and no just some, who wants us to be brothers, not enemies, Pope said.

Western leaders say Ukraine is facing the threat of a full-scale invasion from Russia after it amassed at least 150,000 troops on the border.

President Vladimir Putin defied the West and the United Nations by saying he was recognizing two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent states and that he was ready to send troops there.

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