Holy See and Russia establish full diplomatic relations

History was made yesterday evening when Pope Benedict met  Dimitri Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation and agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Russian Federation.

In a statement, the Vatican press office said: "This afternoon, 3 December 2009, His Holiness Benedict XVI received in audience Dimitri Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation. The president had previously met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone SDB who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

"During the cordial discussions pleasure was expressed on both sides at the cordial relations that currently exist between them, and it was agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Russian Federation.

"Following an exchange of opinions on the international economic and political situation - also in the light of the Encyclical "Caritas in veritate" of which the Holy Father presented the president with a copy in Russian - attention turned to the challenges currently facing security and peace. The talks then turned to cultural and social questions of mutual interest, such as the value of the family and the contribution believers make to life in Russia".

Source: VIS