Pope Francis met with Vladimir Putin on July 4th, the two discussing international affairs in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela and the Church in Russia.
Last Thursday, Pope Francis met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his delegation in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace after waiting over an hour for them to arrive. During “cordial” discussion that lasted nearly an hour, the pair covered “current international affairs” in Syria, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
They also discussed global ecological questions, the place of the Church in Russia, and recent collaborations between children’s hospitals in Rome and Russia. They both expressed “satisfaction at the development of bilateral relations.”
After their private discussion, Putin thanked Pope Francis in front of the media for the “very substantive, interesting discussion,” saying thank you “for the time you have dedicated to me.”
In the exchanging of gifts, Pope Francis gave Putin a signed copy of his message for World Peace Day 2019 and an 18th-century etching of Saint Peter’s Square “so you don’t forget Rome.” In turn, Putin gave the the Holy Father an icon of the Apostles Peter and Paul and a Russian film about the artist Michelangelo.