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Russia's Lavrov Visits Turkmenistan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will make a rare visit to Turkmenistan on February 3, following a visit to China.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the sides will discuss developments in Central Asia, including the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Lavrov last visited Ashgabat was in April.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, met on the sidelines of a Caspian region summit in Russia in September.

Russia has expressed concern over the effects of the withdrawal of most Western combat troops last year from Afghanistan, which borders Turkmenistan.

Russia's ties with isolated, gas-rich Turkmenistan are weaker than with other Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

Both countries are eager to supply to natural gas to China.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax