Secret preparations for a first meeting between Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Pope Francis, which will be held tomorrow in Havana, were carried out for two years.
The meeting came after two years of secret contacts in Rome, Moscow and Havana, Reuters reports with reference to Vatican and diplomatic sources.
Agreement was clinched last autumn but the Russian Orthodox Church wanted to keep it under wraps for several more months.
The head of the Vatican office for Christian unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, believes that Putin approves of the meeting, but refused to comment further. Russia's ambassador to the Vatican, Alexander Avdeyev, said that politicians and diplomats may have helped to organize the meeting.
Russian Orthodox Church spokesman Alexander Volkov does not exclude the possibility of discussing relations between Russia and the West at the meeting in Havana, RBC reports.