Pope to receive Putin on July 4

Vatican City,  Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 4 in what will become their third meeting, the Holy See announced here on Thursday.

The meeting between the pontiff and Putin will take place during the President’s official visit to Italy, although it has not yet been made official, reports Efe news.

It will be the third such encounter between the Pope and Putin in which the conflict in Ukraine is likely to return to the forefront of their talks.

In their last meeting on June 10, 2015, the pontiff flagged up the need to reach peace in the eastern European country.

The first meeting between the two took place on November 25, 2013 and on that occasion they discussed the conflict in Syria.

The Holy See and Russia established diplomatic relations back in 2009.