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Putin's Kyrgyzstan Visit to Be First Abroad Since ICC Warrant

Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyzstan's President Sadyr Japarov
04.10.23 21:00

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Kyrgyzstan next week, authorities in the Central Asian country said Wednesday, his first trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him.

Putin has not left Russia since the Hague-based court issued the warrant in March over the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

"By the invitation of the president of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov on October 12 the president of the Russian Federation will pay an official visit to our country," the Kyrgyz news agency Kabar reported, citing an official from the presidential office.

Putin is due to visit a Russian air base in the city of Kant, east of the capital Bishkek, for the 20th anniversary of its opening, Russian media reported.

Putin has rarely left Russia since launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

He last traveled abroad in December, when he visited Kyrgyzstan and neighboring Belarus.

Kyrgyzstan has not ratified the Rome Statute, a treaty obliging members to adhere to the ICC's decisions.

Members of the court are expected to arrest the Russian leader if he sets foot on their territory.

For that reason, Putin did not attend the July BRICS summit hosted by South Africa, which is an ICC member, Moscwo Times reports.