Pope Francis says a possible visit to Ukraine is ‘on the table.’

ROME — Pope Francis said on Saturday that a potential trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, was “on the table,” a possibility that he floated during a papal flight to Malta, where he began a short trip emphasizing the plight of migrants.

The trip, originally planned for May 2020 and postponed because of the pandemic, now comes amid another global disaster with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s bombing of civilians and the displacement of millions of refugees and people within Ukraine. Before leaving Rome, the pope met with Ukrainian women and children who had escaped the war.

The plight of migrants and refugees has long topped the pontiff’s agenda. On the flight to Malta, Francis responded to a reporter’s question about visiting Kyiv by saying that it was “on the table.”

Francis, 85, wearing his white robes over black pants, later met with officials and dignitaries of Malta, an island that Roman Catholic scriptures say welcomed the Apostle Paul with “unusual kindness” when he was shipwrecked there on the way to Rome.

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