Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to embark on his first foreign visit since he invaded Ukraine in February. Putin will visit two Central Asian countries this week. Part of the former Soviet Union, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have made preparations to welcome the Russian president.
Russian state television Rossiya 1 claimed that Putin would visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and then meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo for talks in Moscow.
Why Is Putin Visiting Central Asian Nations?
In Dushanbe, Putin will meet Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon, 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, according to Reuters.
The details about Putin's trips were revealed by Pavel Zarubin, who is the Kremlin correspondent of the Rossiya 1.
Putin Will Also Visit Belarus
In the first week of July, Putin is also scheduled to Grodno, a city in Belarus, and attend a forum with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
During his visit to Central Asian nations, Putin will meet with the leaders of the five countries at the time of the Ukraine war. The meeting could be significant for Russia as multiple Western sanctions are imposed on it, which are hampering the country's economy and businesses. Apart from strengthening the ties between the countries, Putin could also ink any key financial or trade deal with the countries, which could harm the West.
At a time when Ukraine is receiving massive support from the US Europe and the rest part of the world, Russia is bearing the sanctions imposed by the West and faces financial challenges with fewer ally countries. Putin's visit suggests that Russia is attempting to overcome challenges that emerged from the Ukraine war by cementing its relations in the West and Central Asia.