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Pope Calls For World Day Of 'Prayer For Peace' Over Ukraine Crisis

Pope Francis (file photo)

Pope Francis has called for an international day of "prayer for peace" on January 26 to stop the Ukraine crisis, and called for political talks that put at the center “human brotherhood instead of partisan interests."

"I am following with concern the rising tensions that threaten to inflict a new blow to peace in Ukraine, and put in question the security in Europe with even wider repercussions," Francis said on January 23 during his address and blessing to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.

The Vatican gave no immediate details on how the pope would mark the day.

The United States and NATO have warned that Russia's massing of more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders is a possible prelude to an invasion.

Moscow, which has denied it seeks to invade Ukraine as it did in 2014, has demanded guarantees that NATO will not allow former Soviet states such as Ukraine to enter the Western military alliance.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP