Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has arrived the Kazakhstan capital, Astana, on his first trip abroad since taking office earlier this month.

Mr. Medvedev will also travel to China, arriving in Beijing on Saturday.

Traditionally new Russian leaders visit European countries on their first official foreign trips. However, the visit to Asia highlights the importance that Russia places on energy resources in the region. Mr. Medvedev is expected to discuss energy and space cooperation.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow has tried to regain influence over the former Central Asian republics. Russia has competed with the West and China over access to oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.

Mr. Medvedev is due to visit Germany in early June on his first official trip to a European country.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.