Putin will make his first trip abroad since the start of the war in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet states in Central Asia this week, Russian state television reported on Sunday, in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since he took office. ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion killed thousands, displaced millions and led to severe financial sanctions from the West, which Putin says is a reason to strengthen trade ties with other countries. other powers such as China, India and Iran.

Pavel Zarubin, Kremlin correspondent for state broadcaster Rossiya 1, said Putin would visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and then meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo for talks in Moscow. In Dushanbe, Putin will meet Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon, a close Russian ally and the longest-serving leader of a former Soviet state. In Ashgabat, he will attend a summit of Caspian nations, including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, Zarubin said.

Putin’s last known trip outside Russia was a visit to Beijing in early February, where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a ‘limitless’ friendship treaty hours before they were both to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Russia says it sent troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24 to downgrade its neighbor’s military capabilities, prevent it from being used by the West to threaten Russia, root out nationalists and defend Russian speakers in eastern regions. Ukraine calls the invasion an imperial-style land grab.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)