CWN - Russia’s President Vladimir Putin welcomed a “constructive trust-based dialogue” between his government and the Holy See, as he met on August 23 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.

Putin also hailed a “new dynamic” in talks between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Moscow. “We welcome this dialogue that has begun directly between the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Church,” he said. He voiced his hope that ecumenical ties would continue to improve “in order to expand our cooperation and bring us even closer together.”

Putin, who has frequently identified himself as a Russian Orthodox believer, referred to the talks between “our churches” as he met with Cardinal Parolin. The Vatican leader had previously met with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.