Russian President Putin arrives in Uzbekistan, third foreign trip since re-election

(Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, making his third foreign trip since his re-election in March, arrived in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan on Sunday and met with his counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev ahead of the start of formal talks.

Russian news agencies said Mirziyoyev met Putin on arrival in Tashkent in the evening and the two leaders travelled together in a single car.

Photos and video footage posted on the Kremlin website and by Russian news agencies showed Putin visiting the New Uzbekistan park in Tashkent and laying a wreath at a monument to Uzbek independence.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by news agencies, told Russian television that Russia was open to broader cooperation on gas supplies with Uzbekistan, saying "the possibilities here are very extensive".

Putin has already visited China and Belarus since securing re-election by a wide margin.

The Kremlin leader has travelled abroad only infrequently since the start of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest last March on suspicion of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. The Kremlin denies those allegations.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Diane Craft)