Putin said that Pope Francis expressed interest in Tolstoy’s and Dostoyevsky’s literary works during their meeting on Thursday.
"We delved into [cultural ties and Russian literature] in a conversation with the pope. The pontiff allowed me to make it public that one of the books, which is always on his table, is Russian classical literature, including works by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy," Putin commented.
The Russian leader noted that Pope Francis tells his clergymen that "without Dostoyevsky’s books, without realizing the full depth of his philosophy, one cannot be a true priest."
"That indicates our mutual, profound spiritual roots. That’s why our humanitarian events are such a success," Putin stressed.