MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has no plans for now to meet with papal envoy Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"At the moment [there is] no [meeting with the cardinal on Putin's schedule]; we will inform you if it is penciled in," the Kremlin spokesman said.
"We know that he heading first to Kiev, and then he will provide further information," Peskov said when asked if Moscow was in the know about the cardinal's potential visit.
An informed Vatican source earlier told TASS that a trip to Moscow by Italian Cardinal Zuppi, president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, was being prepared. However, no concrete timeframe is being given, and the cardinal himself has declined to comment on his plans. This morning, the press service of the Holy See reported that Cardinal Zuppi will be in Kiev on June 5-6. The program of his visit was not announced, however.
At the end of April, Pope Francis himself told journalists in his press pool about the Vatican’s peace mission. He did not elaborate, saying only that it was not yet public. Initially, the pontiff said that he was ready to travel to Kiev himself, but only on the condition that he would also be able to visit Moscow.
As Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, previously explained, this is not a mission with the immediate task of mediation; it is rather aimed at improving the climate for bringing peace closer.