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President Putin decides his first foreign trip since start of war

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Vladimir Putin plans to visit two small former Soviet states in Central Asia this week, which would be the first of the foreign trips since ordering the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion has killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and led to severe financial sanctions from the West, which Putin says are a reason to build stronger trade ties with other powers such as China, India and Iran and all of this was already put into plan.

Pavel Zarubin, the Kremlin correspondent of the Rossiya 1 state television station, says Putin plans to visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and then meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo for talks in Moscow.

In Dushanbe, Putin will meet Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, a close Russian ally and the longest serving ruler of a former Soviet state. In Ashgabat, he plans to attend a summit of Caspian nations which includes the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, Zarubin said.

Putin’s last known trip outside Russia was a visit to the 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 Olympic Winter Games.

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