The meeting between the Russian President and the Pope lasted, as planned, for nearly an hour.
The Russian head of state and the head of the Roman Catholic Church paid considerable attention to cooperation between Russia and the Holy See in safeguarding peace. Mr Putin also spoke in favour of developing a dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
The Russian President thanked the Pope for his invitation to visit the Vatican. He gave the Pope a book, “The Kremlin at the Turn of the Century”. Pope John Paul II, in turn, gave Mr Putin a bas-relief by a modern sculptor depicting St Peter and St Paul.