Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios appealed to all the parties involved in the Russia-Ukraine crisis to “follow the path of dialogue so that peace, stability and justice can prevail in Ukraine,” during his sermon after the Sunday service at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar, Istanbul.
Stressing that weapons are not a solution and can only bring about “war and violence, sorrow and death,” Vartholomaios called on all religious leaders and those in positions of power, as well as all persons of good will, to strive for a peaceful resolution of the dangerously escalating situation in Ukraine. He warned that hostilities in Europe could escalate into a third world war.
The Patriarch was speaking in English, before a congregation that included many diplomats from Eastern European countries and the Balkans, as well as a number of Ukrainians living in Istanbul, urging them to pray for peace in Ukraine.
Ukraine on Monday called for a meeting with Russia within the next 48 hours over the escalating tensions on its border. Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine despite the build-up of some 100,000 soldiers on its borders.