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Putin Visits ‘Friendly’ Central Asia on First Trip During War

  • Russian leader meets long-time Tajik president in Dushanbe
  • Putin to holds talks with Iranian counterpart Wednesday
Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon shake hands during their meeting in Dushanbe on June 28.
Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon shake hands during their meeting in Dushanbe on June 28.Photographer: Alexander Shcherbak/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin received a warm welcome in the authoritarian Central Asian state of Tajikistan on Tuesday, on the inaugural leg of his first foreign tour since the invasion of Ukraine in February.

“I’m very happy to be on friendly soil in our ally in this region of the world,” Putin said at the start of his talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in the capital, Dushanbe.