Leaders of countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are gathering for a December 5 summit in Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat.
The meeting is expected to focus on the strengthening of economic and security cooperation among the 11 participating member states.
It will be President Vladimir Putin’s second trip outside Russia this week, following a visit to Turkey on December 3.
Putin has traveled little in the last two months. The Kremlin has rejected reports that the 60-year-old Putin is suffering from a serious back problem or other health issue.
The Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said President Almazbek Atambaev will not attend the Ashgabat summit of the loose grouping of former Soviet republics because of what was described as Atambaev's "busy work schedule.”
Based on reports from ITAR-TASS and Interfax