Italy - the first leg of Putin's European tour

In the next few days Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to Italy, participate in the Russia-EU summit in Rome and meet the French president in Paris, reported deputy chief of the Kremlin administration Sergei Prikhodko.

During the three-day visit to start on November 4 the Russian leader will meet Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President Carlo Ciampi.

The two leaders in particular will attend the opening of the exposition of Leonardo da Vinci's Litta Madonna from the Hermitage collection.

Besides, Prikhodko continued, Putin's agenda also includes a visit to Vatican and a talk with Pope John Paul II.

After the Russia-EU summit on November 6 Putin will meet the leading Italian businessmen.

On Friday November 7 the Russian head of state will leave for Paris to meet French President Jacques Chirac, Prikhodko said.

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