2019-07-04 17:06:00

Putin - Pope Francis meeting lasted exactly one hour (updated)

Vatican, July 4, Interfax - The meeting between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vatican has concluded.

The meeting was held at a Papal Palace library and lasted for about an hour, as required by the protocol for papal audiences with foreign guests.

Putin arrived at the palace about half an hour late and the meeting began 45 minutes after the scheduled time.

The two then exchanged gifts.

The pope presented Putin with an 18th century engraving with a view of St. Peter's Square as a Rome souvenir.

Putin gave the pope an icon of Apostles Peter and Paul.

At their last meeting in 2015, Putin gave Pope Francis a panel depicting the Christ the Savior Cathedral and several tomes of an Orthodox Encyclopedia. The pope gave the president a medallion with an inscription from the Gospel.

Two years previously, the Russian president presented the pope with an icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, while the pope gave him a maiolica with a view of the Vatican Gardens.

Putin and the Russian delegation then had a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

This is the third meeting between Putin and Pope Francis. The Pope received the Russian president in the Vatican in June 2015 and in November 2013.

The protocol of top-level meetings in the Vatican has been in effect for several hundred years.