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he was an hour late an hour late to meet the pope Vladimir Putin's convoy eventually arrived at the Vatican on Thursday Ukraine was expected to be a central topic of discussion in the official papal library the details of the meeting were not immediately given the two last met in twenty fifteen well the pope urged the Russian president to make a quick sincere and great effort to end fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro Russian separatist rebels of war which has lasted since twenty fourteen in the country's east , leaders of Ukraine's Catholic Church %HESITATION also do the Vatican on Friday just a day after Putin's visit , Ukraine's religions world was put on edge last year when the country's orthodox churches splintered from the Russian Orthodox Church that effectively controlled it for centuries Russia opposed the move and Putin who has aligned himself closely with the Russian Orthodox Church accused the Kiev government of meddling , Thursday's meeting also comes three years after Francis met Russian orthodox patriarch Kirill in Cuba it was a landmark step in healing the one thousand year old rift between the western and eastern branches of Christianity