Vladimir Putin met Pope Francis in Italy

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In fact, Pope urged Putin to commit to ‘sincere, great effort’ for Ukraine peace. Later, at a news conference in Milan, Mr. Putin criticized European sanctions. At the same time, he contested European claims that Russia has deliberately violated the Minsk peace agreements for eastern Ukraine, instead blaming the Ukrainian government for not upholding the deal. “Unfortunately, the Minsk agreements are not being implemented fully, only selectively,” Mr. Putin said. No Italians were included in the list of 89 EU citizens who were banned from entering Russia by Russian authorities in response to the sanctions targeting this country.

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