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Russia's Putin to Visit Pope Francis at the Vatican

VATICAN CITY — Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Pope Francis on June 10 at the Vatican, with conflicts in Syria and Ukraine likely to top the Holy See's agenda.

Putin last called on Francis on Nov. 25, 2013.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday the meeting would take place in the afternoon of June 10; Putin is expected to visit Russia's pavilion at the Expo world's fair in Milan, where June 10 has been slated as Russia's national day.

Francis has sought to enlist Orthodox leaders in his campaign to condemn attacks on Christians by Islamic militants in the Middle East. But he has trod lightly with Russia over Ukraine, denouncing the casualties and calling for a cease-fire to hold, but not laying any blame on Moscow.

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