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Western leaders warned to expect new ‘Cold War’ against Russia

Ukrainian Su-25 targets Russian military positions

Peace between Ukraine and Russia is “out of the question” and the West should prepare for a “new Cold War”, it has been said. Tomáš Pojar, a Czech diplomat and advisor of the Czech prime minister, issued the warning on Tuesday as Russia’s bloody war in Ukraine continues to rage.

Speaking to Czech Television, the political expert argued that Western sanctions alone will not convince Vladimir Putin to come to the negotiating table, adding the world is heading towards a second Cold War.

He said: “Sanctions are important, but I would never overestimate them. I did not expect sanctions to stop the war.

“Peace is out of the question. It would be foolish to bet on peace, and I cannot imagine the parties reaching a peace agreement.

“If we are to face a new Cold War and conflict with Russia for several decades, which is possible, we need Russia to be weak and not winning the economic war with the West.”

He also said that Russia’s regime is far from struggling financially in order to continue to sustain its attacks on Ukraine.

He said: “The regime has been preparing for the war for a long time and building up stocks for it.”

The warning was echoed by Pope Francis on Wednesday as he urged world leaders to use reason and not arms to resolve differences, evoking memories of the 1960s Cold War between Washington and Moscow.

At his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, Francis noted that Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of the issuance of a Cold War-era encyclical by Pope John XXIII.

The “Pacem in Terris” encyclical, intended for both the Catholic Church and the world at large, was issued several months after the Cuban missile crisis, which had fuelled fears of nuclear war between the United States and what was then the Soviet Union.

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Francis recalled the world then as “full of tensions between two opposing blocs in the so-called Cold War” and said his predecessor’s message, which encouraged peace efforts, “is very current today.”

Francis told thousands of faithful gathered in the square the encyclical “opened horisons in which you could speak of peace, construct peace”.

He called the document issued on April 11, 1963 ”a real blessing, like a serene break in the midst of dark clouds”.

He cited a passage from the encyclical that reads: “Relations between political communities, like those between individual human beings, should be regulated not by resorting to the force of arms, but by the light of reason, that is, in truth, justice and operative solidarity.”

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Francis then urged “the faithful and men and women of good will to read” the 60-year-old document.

He said: “I pray that the heads of nations let themselves be inspired (by the encyclical) in their plans and decisions.”

He did not name any national leaders, nor did he cite any current geopolitical tensions, such as between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine or Washington and Beijing over Taiwan.

But as has done repeatedly in public remarks since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Francis referred to the war, saying: “Let’s pray for all those who are suffering in Ukraine.”

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