Pope to meet with Putin to discuss Ukraine
Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 4 at the Vatican. It is reported by "Yevropeiska Pravda" with reference to AFP.
"I can confirm that the Holy Father will receive President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the Vatican on 4 July," said the official representative of Vatican, Alessandro Gisotti.
Earlier, the Kremlin confirmed that Putin planned to visit Italy, but said nothing about the date of the visit and the President's plans to meet with Pope Francis.
Argentine Agency TELAM said yesterday that the main topics of the talks will be the current situation in Ukraine and the Middle East.
According to media reports, they will discuss Moscow's claims against Ukrainian Greek Catholics, who, according to the Moscow Patriarchate, support the "split" in the Orthodox world. However, the media outlet reported that the meeting was scheduled for July 5.
This will be Putin's second meeting with the Pope in the last four years. The first one took place on June 10, 2015. Putin was an hour late for it, blaming the delay on traffic jams in Milan and Rome and "long negotiations" with the Prime Minister of Italy.
The day after the meeting with Putin, Pope Francis will hold talks with leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to discuss the situation in Ukraine. This meeting was announced in early May.