Pope Francis says Ukraine war fueled by interests of several 'empires,' not just Russia

The Pope also expressed wanting have a peace talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Updated: March 10, 2023 - 11:39am

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Pope Francis says the war in Ukraine is being fueled by 'imperial" interests, not just Russia’s, according to excerpts of an interview released Friday

The conflict is driven by imperial interests, not just of the Russian empire, but of empires from elsewhere," Francis said on Italian Swiss television RSI. 

He also expressed wanting have a peace talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Teases of the interview were published by Italian dailies La Repubblica, La Stampa and Corriere della Sera. The full interview is set to be aired Sunday, according to Reuters.

March 13 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Pope's election. The 86-year-old Pope said he would resign if he lost the stamina to govern the Roman Catholic Church. 

He said he would quit from a "tiredness that doesn't make you see things clearly. A lack of clarity, of knowing how to evaluate situations."

The statement comes after he said papal resignations are only acceptable under exceptional circumstances last month. 

His predecessor, Benedict XVI, resigned in 2013 at 95 and was the first pontiff to step down in nearly 600 years. 

Francis also acknowledge he feels humiliated by having to use a wheelchair due to his knee ailments. 

"I am old. I have less physical resistance, the knee (problem) was a physical humiliation, even if the recovery is going well now," said Francis, also according to Reuters.