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Putin meets with famous Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin Thursday held a meeting with Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho in his residence outside Moscow.

The best-selling author of esoteric novels is coming to the end of a two-week tour around Russia, which began May 15, and the Russian leader said his writing was more than just understandable for readers in his country.

"What you write about and the way you write is close to the heart of a Russian, it goes straight to the heart," Putin said while welcoming the novelist at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo.

The 58-year-old author, whose books focus on religious mysticism, said at a news conference in Moscow that he was on a "pilgrimage", during which he would spend three months away from home. After starting in Ukraine, he also plans to visit Italy, Bulgaria, Germany and Tunisia.

Coelho said that during his 17-day tour of Russia he had had a chance to be in direct contact with Russians and he understood that Russia and Brazil had a great deal in common despite the geographical distance that separated the two countries.

The Brazilian novelist said he found Russia to be strong and optimistic.

The author of international bestsellers The Alchemist, The Valkyries, The Pilgrimage, and The Manual of the Warrior of Light last held book signings in Russia in September 2002. Coelho's official Web site put his sales in Russia during the last visit at 250,000 in the space of two weeks.

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