An upcoming visit to China will be the first confirmed foreign trip Russian President Vladimir Putin will have taken since he was issued an arrest warrant for war crimes.

According to three people familiar with the matter, the Kremlin is preparing Putin's visit to China for the Belt and Road Forum in October, Bloomberg reported.

In March, an arrest warrant for Putin was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the charge of unlawfully deporting and transferring children to Russia following his country’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian President accepted the invitation by China's Xi Jinping to take part in the economic event in person.

Putin only visits countries where his special services can fully guarantee his security, and China is one of them.

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Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Putin has only visited countries that have maintained quite good relations with Russia, such as Iran and Belarus.

However, after the court in The Hague announced a warrant for his arrest, the Russian president had not traveled outside territory controlled by his state – although the presidential office says that he visited Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

Last week Putin missed the BRICS summit in South Africa, as the South African government would technically be obliged to arrest Putin under the ICC’s order. He also announced that he would not take part in the G20 summit in India next month, although New Delhi is not obliged to arrest him in accordance with the ICC decision. 

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Zelensky urged the UK to help boost Ukraine's "long-range capability," saying lifting restrictions on Western weapons would allow Ukraine to better defend against Russian offensives.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he was expecting the Russian president in Turkey, but soon after said that he would travel to Sochi, Russia to meet with Putin next week. 

Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said in July that Putin planned to visit China for the forum, while Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said that China had invited the Russian leader as the “main guest” at the event, the state-run Tass news service reported in May.

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