Vladimir Putin in Kyrgyzstan, his first foreign trip since his arrest warrant
Steph Deschamps / October 16, 2023
Vladimir Putin is in Kyrgyzstan on Thursday to meet some of his few allies, his first trip abroad since he was the target of an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for the "deportation" of Ukrainian children.
The Russian president, who has refused to attend several international summits because of the arrest warrant, runs no risk of being arrested during this trip, as this Central Asian country close to Moscow has not ratified the Rome Statute, the Court's founding treaty.
Mr Putin has arrived in Kyrgyzstan, Russian and Kyrgyz news agencies reported on Thursday morning.
He will hold talks on Thursday with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliev, their first since Baku's victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, while Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian, whose relations with Moscow have been strained, will be absent.
Vladimir Putin is also due to hold talks with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov during this visit, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Russian military base at Kant in Kyrgyzstan.
Then, on Friday, the Russian president will take part in a summit of former USSR countries, in the presence of his main ally, Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko, but also of leaders more dubious about the invasion of Ukraine, such as Kazakh Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek Chavkat Mirzioev.
Vladimir Putin, who launched Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022, has been under ICC arrest since March, a decision that Moscow considers "null and void ».
In recent months, he has been careful to avoid major international gatherings, appearing as a major absentee at the BRICS summit in South Africa in August, then at the G20 summit in India in September.