MOSCOW, July 5 (UPI) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday Moscow and the Vatican are discussing establishing diplomatic relations.

Medvedev, speaking to Italian media, said discussions are focusing on whether to upgrade ties between Russia and the Catholic Church, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported.

"We have relations with the Vatican; there are representative missions from both sides," Medvedev said. "And we are discussing whether to bring this relationship to a higher level, that is whether to change our relationship to one that is characterized by embassy and diplomatic relations. And it seems to me that this would be perfectly normal."