Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet world leaders on Wednesday including China's Xi Jingping and India's Narendra Modi ahead of the start of a summit of the BRICS emerging economies.
Putin is to hold bilateral talks with leaders of the other BRICS countries -- China, Brazil, South Africa and India -- in the city of Ufa in the Ural mountains for a summit that Moscow hopes will show it is not cut off, despite its standoff with the West over Ukraine.
South African President Jacob Zuma arrived on Tuesday in Ufa while Chinese President Xi Jinping was set to arrive Wednesday, as was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, breaking off a visit to Central Asia. The BRICS summit itself is on Thursday.
Taking place at the same time in the provincial city about 1,100 kilometres (750 miles) from Moscow is a meeting of the regional security grouping, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), at which Putin will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Iran has observer status in the SCO, which is made up of Russia, China and the ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The high-profile gatherings come as Moscow is locked in an bitter standoff with the West over the Ukraine crisis that has seen Putin given the cold shoulder by the EU and the United States.