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Russian PM in Turkmenistan Ahead Of Anticipated Meeting With President

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (right) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ride in a GAZ-21 Volga car during a meeting in Ashgabat on May 31.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in Turkmenistan for a working visit as the world waits to see if he meets the Central Asian state's autocratic leader.

Medvedev arrived on August 11 in the capital, Ashgabat, where he will attend the first Caspian Economic Forum the following day, Russian media reported.

The Russian prime minister is scheduled to meet Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov -- who hasn’t been seen in public for weeks -- "on the sidelines of the conference" to discuss bilateral relations.

Berdymukhammedov's failure to appear in public since July 5 has fueled speculation about the state of his health. Turkmen authorities have repeatedly said the president is on vacation until August 15.

Turkmen state TV has continued to show videos of the 62-year-old Berdymukhammedov supposedly shot during his vacation, including footage of him bowling, riding a bike, shooting a gun, and working on a new book.

Berdymukhammedov has been in power since 2007.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and Kommersant