(CTN News) – In his first known trip abroad since ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit two small former Soviet states in central Asia this week, Russian state television reported on Sunday.
Putin says Russia needs to build stronger trade ties with other powers like China, India, and Iran as a result of its February 24 invasion.
The Kremlin correspondent for Rossiya 1 stated that Putin would visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan before meeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Moscow.
Putin will meet Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon in Dushanbe, a long-serving ruler of a former Soviet state and a close Russian ally. Zarubin said he will attend a summit of Caspian nations including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan in Ashgabat.
In addition to visiting Grodno, Putin will also participate in a forum with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on June 30 and July 1, Belarus television reported.
During Putin’s last trip outside Russia, he visited Beijing in early February, where he signed a “no limits” friendship treaty with Chinese President Xi Jinping hours before attending the Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony.
It sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 to degrade its neighbour’s military capabilities, to keep it from being used by the West to threaten it, and to weed out nationalists.
As a result of the invasion, Ukraine calls it an imperial land grab.
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