Putin eager to talk trade with leaders of Iran, Azerbaijan

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he's eager to discuss new energy and transportation projects in the Caspian Sea region with his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Iran.

Putin held separate talks on Monday with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani before all three leaders get together later in the day.

Their talks are expected to give a new push to the construction of a new international transport corridor running between Russia and India. The route through Azerbaijan and Iran is intended to increase trade by significantly reducing freight costs.

Putin said the three presidents have much to discuss in the way of transport and energy projects and the overall diversification of trade ties.

They also are expected to discuss the situations in Afghanistan and the Middle East.