Vatican promotes stronger integration of Russia into the community of states. The question of peace and the search for solutions to ongoing conflicts should take precedence over all particular interests, said Pietro Parolin.
With the resurgent nationalism in various states, the Pope's chief diplomat associated the danger of a "catastrophe," Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin told the Italian daily "Il Sole 24 Ore". Parolin plans to travel to Moscow for talks at the end of August.
Eastern Europe, he said, is important not only because of its peripheral location, but also because of its historical role. Pope John Paul II. (1978-2005) did not think of a "Western expansionism" in his vision of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals, but of a more united structure of the entire continent, Parolin said.
"Russia and Western countries not two worlds"
The cardinal expressed concern that at present the differences between Western countries and Russia are often emphasized, "as if they were two different worlds," each with its own values and even legal concepts that must be imposed on the other.
The challenge is to contribute to a better mutual understanding of the supposedly opposite poles. "The effort to understand each other does not mean that one gives in to the position of the other," Parolin said.
The Holy See's attention to Eastern Europe has never waned "even in the darkest years," Parolin further stressed. As cardinal secretary of state, he had already visited Belarus in 2015, and in 2016 he traveled to Ukraine.