Putin to embark on first foreign trip, since Ukraine war

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to make his first foreign trip to Central Asian countries – Tajikistan and Turkmenistan- since the beginning of the February 24 conflict with Ukraine. Pavel Zarubin, the Kremlin correspondent of the Rossiya 1 state television station, said Putin would 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 will attend a summit of Caspian nations including the leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan, Zarubin said.