Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis in the Vatican. The local TV did a live broadcast of the event.
The two top-level officials gathered to discuss the current situations in Ukraine and Syria.
The security measures during Putin's visit in Rome are boosted; the car traffic is blocked in fifty streets of the "green zone", protest rallies are banned, and the air space is tightly monitored.
"The previous meeting, in June 2015, was about a year after Russia annexed Crimea, which made for a far tenser situation. That meeting lasted 50 minutes — quite lengthy as far as papal audiences go. The pope demanded "sincere and comprehensive efforts for peace" in Ukraine, the Vatican said, adding that the pair agreed a "climate of dialogue" had to be restored and that "all parties" had to adhere to the Minsk ceasefire agreements", Reuters wrote, announcing the event. "Talks on Thursday will likely focus on the Christian presence in the Middle East and the situation in Ukraine, according to sources in the Church".