Pope Francis has clarified his recent statements about Russia, which were negatively received by Ukraine. The pontiff noted that his goal was to emphasize Russia's great cultural heritage, not to make political statements, Reuters reports.
"I was not thinking about imperialism when I said that. Maybe I did not express myself well, but when I talked about the great Russia, I meant not so much the geographical component as the cultural component," the pope emphasized.
Francis also shared his admiration for Russian culture and mentioned Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of his favorite authors.
"It was a casual remark that came to my mind because I studied it (Russian history - ed.) at school. Russian culture is such a beauty, such a depth. It should not be canceled because of political problems. Russia had dark political years, but the heritage has survived, it is available to everyone," the pontiff noted.