11 June 2015, 10:02
Putin-Pope meeting lasted over an hour
Rome, June 11, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with Pope Francis in Vatican City as part of the Russian leader's trip to Rome.
Putin arrived in the Italian capital from Milan on Wednesday evening and proceeded to Vatican.
At the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace the Russian head of state was met by the ceremonial unit of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the head of the papal household. Accompanied by the Gentlemen of His Holiness, the secular servants of Vatican, Putin and members of the Russian delegation proceeded to the entry into the personal papal library where the president was met by Pope Francis. Reporters watched the protocol part of the meeting which took place at the library with some delay.
After his conversation with the Pope, which lasted over an hour, Putin introduced each delegation member to Pope Francis.
After that the Russian head of state and Pope exchanged their presents. The Russian president presented a painting depicting the Christ the Savior Cathedral. In addition, the Russian delegation presented Pope with several volumes of the Orthodox Encyclopedia.
Presenting his gifts to the Russian delegation, Pope said: "This medal, which was made by a last-century artist depicts an angel who brings peace and justice and solidarity, and protects. And there is also this text which contains reflections on the Gospel which brings light and joy into our lives and there also geopolitical reflections about us and about our life."
After the meeting Pope accompanied the Russian president to the exit from the library, and in bidding farewell asked to send his best wishes to Patriarch Kirill.
The reporters, who were covering the meeting, were also honored by the personal greeting from the Pope. Each reporter was introduced to the Pope after the event ended. In addition, the reporters received souvenirs - rosary beads - from members of the Vatican protocol team.
Putin and the Pope already met in Vatican City in November 2013.
A Russian delegation also attended the inauguration of Francis' pontificate in March 2013. The delegation was led by State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin.
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