Russian President Putin Meets Pope Francis in the Vatican

Russian President Vladimir Putin opened his one-day visit to Italy on Thursday, June 4, with a meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

It’s the third meeting between the two men, in what some observers believe could be a prelude to a papal visit to Russia.

No pope has ever set foot in Russia, but Putin’s foreign affairs adviser said the issue wasn’t on the agenda for the visit.

Putin and the pope will hold talks a day before Ukraine’s Catholic leaders meet at the Vatican to discuss the crisis in their country.

Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region, which remains a contentious matter between the Vatican and Russia, is expected to be a main topic of discussions in the official papal library in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.