Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Putin to explain Russian position on Ukraine to Pope of Rome

Moscow, June 9 (Interfax) - President Vladimir Putin will be ready to explain in talks with Pope Benedict the essence of Russia's position on the situation in southeastern Ukraine, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"Traditional talks with the Pope will deal with a broad agenda of pressing issues, providing an excellent opportunity to exchange views on issues of the greatest importance," Peskov told journalists ahead of Putin's visit to Italy.

Asked whether the situation in southeastern Ukraine and implementation of the Minsk agreements will be addressed, Peskov said, "This is not ruled out, especially if Pope Francis demonstrates interest. I do not doubt that the president will be ready to spell out Russia's position in detail, of course."

Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov earlier said that the situation in Ukraine with an accent on interfaith relations will be discussed during Putin's talks with Pope Francis in the Vatican on June 10.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia earlier expressed concern about the position assumed by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church which, he said, backed one party in the conflict from the start, complicating relations between the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.

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