Putin to visit Rome on 4 July

Putin to meet Conte, Mattarella and Pope Francis in Rome.

Russian president Vladimir Putin comes to Rome on a state visit on Thursday 4 July, at the invitation of Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.

The visit will involve talks on "key issues of Italian-Russian cooperation" according to the Kremlin, while Putin is quoted in Russian media as saying he expects "broad discussions" concerning "bilateral matters and international relations."

Political analysts predict the visit could trigger the beginning of a slow thaw in economic tensions between the EU and Russia, as well as potentially bolstering Italy's anti-migrant policies.

In addition to holding talks with Conte, Putin will meet Italy's president Sergio Mattarella and his old friend, former premier Silvio Berlusconi, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Putin will also meet with Pope Francis, for the third time, fuelling speculation that it could pave the way for a papal trip to Russia.

The Vatican and Russia re-established bilateral relations in 1990 and re-established full diplomatic relations in 2009.

The visit will be Putin's first to Italy since 2015 when he visited the World Expo in Milan. It will be the Russian leader's 11th visit to Italy since he first took power in 2000, and Conte will become the sixth Italian premier to welcome him on a state visit.

The arrival of Putin will result in numerous street closures and traffic restrictions in central Rome, with the off-limits "green zone" including the area around the Hotel St Regis near Piazza Repubblica, the streets around Palazzo Chigi and Palazzo Madama, and Via della Conciliazione near the Vatican.

For full traffic details see Muoversi a Roma website.