During the 55-minute meeting—their third since 2013—the Pope and the Russian president discussed the Catholic Church in Russia, ecology, international affairs (particularly Syria, Ukraine, and Venezuela), and collaboration between Vatican and Russian pediatric hospitals. “We discussed the issues of protecting the Christian population of the Middle East and humanitarian assistance in Syria,” Putin said. “It is important that the positions of Russia and the Vatican coincide in the issues concerning traditional values, promoting inter-religious and inter-civilizational dialogue.”