MOSCOW, July 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin late on Thursday after a regular meeting with the government will depart for the largest tour since the beginning of his third presidential term. The Kremlin reported that he plans to visit three countries of the South American continent: Cuba, Argentina and Brazil.
The Russian head of state is accustomed to long-distance and rather hard trips. In a major tour of Russia in 2010 the president visited within 10 days Tiksi, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Khabarovsk, Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk and during four days was driving a yellow Lada-Kalina car from Khabarovsk to Chita.
The current foreign trip that will last for exactly a week is similar in distance and time. In the air alone, Putin will have to spend about two days, exactly 46 hours.
During this time the Russian leader will cover quite a considerable distance. The distance from Moscow to Havana, where on July 11 the presidential program will be started, is 9580 kilometres - 12 hours and 30 minutes of flight. The distance from Havana to Buenos Aires is 6883 kilometres - nine hours of flight. After visiting the Argentine capital, Putin will depart for Brazil where he will spend four busy working days. The distance from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro is 1982 kilometres (three hours), from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia - 930 kilometres (1 hour and 30 minutes), from the Brazilian capital to Fortaleza - 2525 kilometres (two hours and 30 minutes). Due to the peculiarities of his programme, the president will have to cover the last distance twice.
The flight back from Brasilia to Moscow will take about 15 hours. During this time the president will fly 11170 kilometres. As a result, the total distance of the trip will be 35600 kilometres.
It is not the first visit to Latin America for Putin. On November 22, 2004, the Russian leader had for the first time visited Brazil at the invitation of its President then Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He also met the Cuban and Argentine leaders more than once. Against the background of growing tension in relations with the United States and European Union, the Kremlin attaches special importance to these contacts. Russia is interested in deepening its traditionally friendly ties with South America, to which testify dozens of documents on co-operation in various spheres ranging from military-technical and energy co-operation to culture and healthcare that have been prepared for signing during the forthcoming visit.