Pope not chatty in meeting Vladimir Putin

Pope Francis has urged Russian president Vladimir Putin to make a “sincere and great effort” to achieve peace in the Ukraine.

When Mr Putin met the Pope at the Vatican on Wednesday, he was received with full honours and regalia, including a ceremonial Swiss Guard welcome.

Pope Francis seemed stiff and exceptionally formal when he greeted Mr Putin with a curt “willkommen” (welcome) in German.

Both men remained silent until reporters were ushered out.

The tone of the Vatican statement after the meeting also suggested Francis had been blunt with Mr Putin behind closed doors.

The word “cordial”, which is used in nearly every Vatican statement about the Pope’s talks with a world leader, did not appear.

But Francis appeared more relaxed during a picture-taking and gift exchange session after their private talks.

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