"Russia is a big nation and a bridge between Europe and Asia. I think you [Russia] can make some significant contribution to the promotion of peace of mind,” His Holiness told the news agency. “I think that Russia is a great nation, very powerful. Recent events showed that Putin as a leader of the Russian nation pays more attention to the issues in different parts of the world. I think that is good."
"Today the world is passing through a critical period. In such a time President Putin should think very carefully, take into consideration a wider perspective and a long-term interest. That’s important,” he stressed.
He also questioned the need for outdated political institutions such as monarchy, calling for a focus on education and democracy on the path to peace.
“A few days ago the Japanese emperor [Naruhito] acceded to the throne, and yesterday a new British prince was born [Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal baby]. I really feel that [monarchy] is outdated. Russian Bolshevik revolution eliminated the tsarist rule, and the French Revolution also eliminated the king’s rule. I feel this is right. All these kings, queens are part of old thinking. In that system, there was too much emphasis on military power,” he said.