World Report

Calling for federal Europe, Pope warns of US-Russia alliance

Russian leader Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit.

The US and Russia have a distorted global vision, Pope Francis has said, warning that an alliance between the two could be dangerous for the world’s poorest and weakest.

Interviewed by the Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari for Repubblica against the background of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, the Pope reportedly said: “I fear there are very dangerous alliances between powers that have a distorted vision of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Putin and Assad in the Syria War.”

Explaining that this danger concerns the movements of peoples, the Pope is reported to have said: “We have the main problem and unfortunately growing in today’s world that of the poor, the weak, the excluded, of whom the emigrants are part,” continuing, “on the other hand, there are countries where the majority of the poor do not come from migratory flows but from social calamities; others have few local poor but fear the invasion of migrants. That’s why the G-20 worries me.”

Mr Scalfari, who has interviewed the Pope on several occasions, reported that this issue particularly affects people from Middle Eastern countries, who seek new homes in Europe, and said the Pope believes that Europe must unify further in order to tackle the problems it faces.

“A Europe that, according to Bergoglio, must assume a federal structure as soon as possible,” he wrote, saying that without becoming a federal community Europe will “contain nothing in the world”.

Separately, in a message to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the summit, the Holy Father urged the world leaders gathered there to reflect on what their decisions would mean for the whole global community.

While it is reasonable that the G-20 is limited to a “small number of countries that represent 90 percent of the production of wealth and services worldwide,” a multilateral approach in solving economic problems must be made “for the benefit of all,” he said.