Putin to make first foreign trips since launching Ukraine war

Russian President wants to expand trade ties with other global powers

Russian President Vladimir Putin will make diplomatic trips to two former Soviet countries. Sputnik.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet states in Central Asia this week, state TV reported on Sunday, in what would be his first known trip abroad since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's February 24 invasion has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and led to severe financial sanctions from the West.

Mr Putin said the sanctions were a reason to build stronger trade ties with other powers such as China, India and Iran.

Pavel Zarubin, the Kremlin correspondent of the Rossiya 1 state TV station, said Mr Putin would visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, then meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo for talks in Moscow.

In Dushanbe, Mr Putin will meet Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, a close Russian ally and the longest-serving ruler 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.

Mr Putin also plans to visit the Belarusian city of Grodno on June 30 and July 1 to take part in a forum with President Alexander Lukashenko, Valentina Matviyenko, the Speaker of Russia's upper chamber of Parliament, told Belarusian television on Sunday, according to the RIA news agency.

His last known trip outside Russia was to Beijing in early February, where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a "no limits" friendship treaty hours before both attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.

Updated: June 27, 2022, 4:14 AM