Pope Francis has called the arms industry a key factor in the "martyrdom" of the Ukrainian people in the war with Russia, saying that even giving up weapons now will prolong this suffering.

This was reported by Business Mirror with reference to a press conference in France.

"Francis appears to have referred to Poland's recent statement that it is no longer sending weapons to Ukraine," Business Mirror writes.

According to Francis, the arms industry is also behind the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The Pope called Ukrainians a "martyr nation." And according to him, at first many countries provided Ukraine with weapons, and now they are taking them away.

"It seems to me that the interests in this war are not only related to the Ukrainian-Russian problem, but also to the sale of weapons, trade in them. We must not play games with the martyrdom of this people. We need to help solve problems in any way possible. Not to make illusions that tomorrow the two leaders will go to eat together, but to do everything possible," he said.

Earlier, the pontiff called the Russians a "great people." He stated that he did not believe in the cruelty of Russian citizens against Ukraine.