Putin to make 1st trip abroad since Ukraine conflict’s start

Jun 26, 2022, 11:03 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2022, 11:08 am

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin is making his first public foreign trip since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, heading for two former Soviet republics and meetings likely to be friendly.

Ahead of the trip beginning Tuesday to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, there were no expectations of significant developments. But the visit gives Putin the opportunity to show that he is not isolated despite widespread sanctions and denunciations from the West because of the Ukraine operation.

At the first stop in Tajikistan, Putin is to meet with authoritarian President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in office since 1994 and kept his country close to Russia. Tajikistan hosts some 7,000 Russian troops, Moscow’s largest base abroad.

Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov said Monday that a key part of the talks with Rahmon will be discussing measures to improve security along Tajikistan’s porous, 1,357-kilometer (843-mile) border with Afghanistan.

Tajikistan, where a 1990s civil war that included Islamist insurgents killed as many as 100,000 people, is wary of Islamic radicalism spilling over from Afghanistan. It also is a main route for heroin and opium smuggling from Afghanistan.

Russia is following a narrow path with Afghanistan — although it officially designates the ruling Taliban as a terrorist group, the Taliban also have a representation in Moscow and one of the movement’s officials was invited to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

The Kremlin “encourages the new Afghan authorities to form an ethnically and politically balanced government and intensify actions for combatting terrorist and drug threats,” Ushakov said.

Putin on Wednesday is to be in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, which largely seals itself off from the world. The purpose is to attend a summit of Caspian Sea littoral states, which also include Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev raised eyebrows at the St. Petersburg forum when, while appearing on stage with Putin, he firmly stated that Kazakhstan would not recognize the two separatist Ukrainian regions that Russia has declared to be sovereign states.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Pope Francis walks past a Vatican Swiss Guard as he arrives to meet with members of the Italian Sch...
Associated Press

Russia protests pope comments as Vatican seeks to mediate

ROME (AP) — Russia has lodged a formal protest with the Vatican over Pope Francis’ latest condemnation of atrocities in Ukraine, in which the pontiff blamed most of the cruelty on Chechens and other minorities in an apparent effort to spare ethnic Russian troops from criticism. The Kremlin’s ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Avdeev, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ethiopia offers no date for end to blackout in Tigray region

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — There is “no timeline” for restoring internet access to Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region, a senior government official said Tuesday. The restoration of Tigray’s internet service will be carried alongside the resumption of its phone and electricity services, though no date has been set for those goals, Ethiopia’s Minister for Innovation and […]
1 day ago
Ohio State University president Kristina Johnson speaks Jan. 21, 2022 in Newark, Ohio. Johnson says...
Associated Press

Ohio State leader Johnson resigning halfway through contract

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson says she’ll step down when the school year ends in May, resigning after less than three years at the helm of one of the nation’s largest public universities. The 65-year-old Johnson thanked Ohio State students and employees in a letter Monday but did not explain […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Unknown aircraft targets Wagner base in C. African Republic

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Authorities in Central African Republic have opened an investigation after a low-flying fighter jet dropped explosives near a base for Russian mercenaries working with the country’s military. The attack took place in the early hours of Monday at the Cotenaf base in Bossangoa, where witnesses said both the base […]
1 day ago
John Beezley, of Bonham, carts out several cases of water after learning that a boil water notice w...
Associated Press

Houston lifts boil-water order affecting more than 2 million

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston officials lifted an order Tuesday that had called for more than 2 million people in the nation’s fourth-largest city to boil their tap water before drinking or using it. The boil order had been in effect since Sunday, when a power outage at a purification plant caused pressure to drop. The […]
1 day ago
A woman takes photos next to the painting by Ukrainian artist Vasyl Sedliar called 'Portrait of Oks...
Associated Press

Museums’ daring feat brings major Ukraine art show to Spain

MADRID (AP) — Against a backdrop of Russian bombardments, border closures and a nail-biting 3,500-kilometer (2,150-mile) truck journey across Europe, Spain’s Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum has teamed up with the National Art Museum of Ukraine to secretly bring dozens of 20th century Ukrainian avant-garde artworks to Madrid for a unique exhibition and a show of support […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Putin to make 1st trip abroad since Ukraine conflict’s start