Whatever his reason, Vladimir Putin has not been terribly prompt when meeting Pope Francis.
Putin was 50 minutes late for his appointment with the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday.
And he was being considerate. In February, he was a full hour late.
Now Bloomberg is reporting the pope was not amused and the meeting quickly got off to a frosty start.
After greeting the Russian leader with a wry “welcome”, the two men gazed blankly at each other from opposite sides of the papal desk, waiting for journalists and photographers to leave.
The icy stares and cold handshakes overshadowed the pope’s stern warning to Putin to commit to peace in Ukraine.
According to Bloomberg, the pope wanted Putin to make a “sincere and great effort” on the issue.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were delays in Milan where Putin was visiting the Expo 2015 world fair and seeing Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
What was his excuse last time? Who cares.
But Putin apparently wasted no time catching up with an old friend, Italy’s disgraced former premier Silvio Berlusconi, afterwards.
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