ST. PETERSBURG, June 6. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to be received by Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to Italy, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed.
"Preparations for Putin’s visit and contacts in Rome are underway, an audience with the pope is planned during this trip. Arrangements are underway, we will make a statement concerning the details in due course," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Vatican said that Pope Francis would receive the Russian president on July 4 during Putin’s visit to Italy.
The Kremlin also said it is not considering the possibility of inviting Pope Francis to visit Russia.
When asked if the Kremlin planned to invite Pope Francis to Russia, Peskov said: "Putin’s visit to the Vatican is under consideration at the moment, you are rushing things."
At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman declined to answer whether Putin would make such an invitation at a meeting with Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to Italy. "I can’t say at the moment, preparations are underway," Peskov said.