Bloomberg: Putin to Travel Abroad First Time since Arrest Warrant

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to visit China. He hasn't traveled abroad since The Hague war-crimes warrant.

Bloomberg has learned that the Kremlin is preparing Putin’s visit to China for the Belt and Road Forum in October, according to three people with knowledge of the matter

Putin has accepted the invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the event, one of the people said.

Putin is only willing to visit countries where his security service can completely guarantee his safety, and China is one of those places, according to two of the people.

Putin hasn’t left Russia since the court in The Hague announced the warrant in March, though he has visited Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

Last week, Putin skipped the BRICS summit in South Africa after the government there made clear it would have to comply with the order to arrest him as a signatory to the ICC.

He also told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he won't attend next month's Group of 20 summit, though India isn’t a signatory to the court.

China has also not signed the Rome Statute, which regulates the activities of the International Criminal Court.

After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Putin has visited only the neighbouring countries of the former Soviet Union and Iran, which supplies drones to the Russian military.

Putin last visited China in February 2022, less than three weeks before ordering the invasion. Then he attended the Winter Olympics in Beijing and held talks with Xi Jinping.

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