Russian President Vladimir Putin could have an audience with Pope Francis at the United Nations on the sidelines of the development summit meeting later this month — but only, as per the Vatican envoy to the UN, if Mr. Putin gets here in time.
According to diplomatic protocol, the pope is to hold a bilateral meeting with the country that presides over the United Nations Security Council and only with its head of state. In September, that is Russia. Hence, Mr. Putin.
The pope is scheduled to speak on the morning of Friday, Sept. 25, when he will address world leaders before the official opening of the development meeting. Mr. Putin is scheduled to address the group two days later.
The Russian mission said Wednesday that Mr. Putin was not expected to arrive as early as Sept. 25. That appeared to make the prospect of a meeting with the pope unlikely.