Pope Francis meets with Russian President Putin
(Vatican Radio) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met Pope Francis Wednesday evening in a private audience in the Vatican. It was the second meeting between the Pope and the Russian President.
A statement issued by the Head of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi said the meeting held between the Holy Father and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place in the Library of the Apostolic Palace.
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During the discussions which lasted 50 minutes both the Pope and the President focused on the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.
Fr Lombardi said Pope Francis stressed the “need to commit oneself in a sincere and great effort to achieve peace,” adding that both men “agreed on the importance of reconstructing a climate of dialogue and that all sides commit themselves to implementing the Minsk accords.”
Also stressed was the need to address the serious humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
Regarding the conflicts in the Middle East, both men discussed the situation in Iraq and Syria.
The Vatican statement highlighted the “urgency” with which the international community must pursue peace efforts, “assuring at the same time the necessary conditions for the life of all components of society, including religious minorities and in particular Christians.”
During an exchange of gifts following the meeting, President Putin gave the Pope an embroidery of the famous Church of Jesus Savior, while the Pope donated a medallion by artist Guido Veroi showing the angel of peace calling for the construction of a world of solidarity and peace based on justice. A copy of the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium was also given to the President.