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Rome Reports

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Possible themes for the meeting between Pope Francis and Putin

The third meeting between Putin and Pope Francis will be more than a cordial visit. There are many political issues of common interest that are sensitive.

The first of these is peace in Ukraine. The pope will ask Putin to put an end to the conflict. This is because one day before their meeting, Pope Francis will talk with the major archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Sviatoslav Shevchuk and the bishops who govern it. 

Russia is also a major influence in Venezuela and the Vatican is concerned about the crisis in this country. In the past, the Holy See played an important role in trying to facilitate dialogue between the government and its opposition, although it failed in its attempt. 

The Middle East is another issue of interest to both. Russia does not want to lose its influence in the area and the Vatican does not want Christians to disappear from the region due to violence. They are both interested in bringing stability to that region. 

Additionally, it is likely they will discuss about the possibility in the pope visiting Russia. This because now the relations between Rome and the Patriarch of Moscow are more cordial. 

The meeting is expected to be long. In the past, their discussions have lasted 35 to 50 minutes. If he stays true to his style, Vladimir Putin will be late. He is the only world leader who makes even the pope wait.