Vladimir Putin will visit this week two small ex-Soviet states in Central AsiaRussian state television reported this Sunday, in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

    The Russian invasion on February 24 killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and triggered severe financial sanctions from the West, which Putin has explained are a reason to build stronger trade ties with other powers like China, India, and Iran.

    Pavel Zarubin, correspondent at the kremlin of the state television station Rossiya 1, has indicated that Putin would visit Tajikistan Y Turkmenistan and then meet him Indonesian presidentJoko Widodo, to chat on Moscow.

    In Dushanbe, Putin will meet with the president of Tajikistan, Imomali Rakhmon, a ally close friend of Russia and the longest-serving ruler of a former Soviet state. In Ashgabat, he will attend a caspian nations summitincluding the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, Zarubin has commented.

    Putin also plans to visit the Belarusian city of Grodno June 30 and July 1 to participate in a forum with the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenkothe RIA news agency reported Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, as speaking on Belarusian television on Sunday.

    Without leaving Russia since the beginning of February

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    Putin’s last known trip outside Russia was a visit to beijing in early February, where he and Chinese President Xi Jinping released a friendship treaty “without limits” hours before the two attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.

    Russia has said it sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 to degrade its neighbor’s military capabilities, prevent the West from using it to threaten Russia, root out nationalists and defend Russian-speakers in eastern regions. Ukraine calls the invasion an imperial-style land grab.

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