MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Pope Francis offers Vatican City as a venue for talks between Russia and the West on the conflict in Ukraine, Leonid Sevastianov, President of the World Union of Russian Old Believers, told TASS on Sunday, citing his telephone call with the Pope.
"Following [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov’s and [Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry] Peskov’s statements, the Pope offers Vatican City as a venue for talks between America, Europe, and Russia on shared security. Vatican is on Russia’s list of friendly countries and it is neutral. It is also friendly to Ukraine, America, and NATO. So, Vatican is an optimal venue for talks," he said.
In an interview for the film 'A World on the Verge. Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis', Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia’s leadership, including President Vladimir Putin, is still ready for talks with Ukraine. According to the Russian top diplomat, Russia is ready to listen to its Western colleagues, if they agree to speak about de-escalation with due account of Moscow’s interest.
Meanwhile, Russian presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said in an interview with the Moscow.Kremlin.Putin program on the Rossiya-1 television channel that talks on Ukraine should first of all be held with Washington, since Kiev is acting "on orders from outside." According to Peskov, talks between Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, could be organized should the United States be willing to heed Russia’s concerns and return to the discussion of security guarantees.
Sevastianov said earlier citing his personal call with Pope Francis that the Pope was ready to organize negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zelensky, in Vatican City in an effort to settle the conflict.
Vatican sources told TASS in September that the Holy See was taking all possible diplomatic efforts to promote the conflict settlement.