- Too soon for Orthodox, Catholic church heads to meet - official
- Medvedev to discuss economy with Berlusconi, meet with Pope
- Pope to receive Russian Orthodox archbishop on Friday
- Obama to meet Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with Pope Benedict XVI for the first time during his two-day visit to Italy next week, his office said on Thursday.
Medvedev is expected to discuss security and cooperation with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in meetings on February 16-17 before his meeting with the Pontiff.
Then President Vladimir Putin visited the Vatican in 2007 to discuss ways to improve ties between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches.
Neither Pope Benedict nor his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, ever visited post-communist Russia.
2011 has been designated a year of cultural exchanges between Russia and Italy.
MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti)
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Infographics: World War I, 1914-1918
If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.