Vladimir Putin has opened a session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in an extended format.
Attended by the leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, the meeting is taking place in St. Petersburg's Marble Palace.
Opening the session, the Russian president once again thanked Chinese Chairman Jiang Zemin for his proposal to hold the summit in St. Petersburg.
He suggested that the SCO leaders approve the agenda of the session and address the assembly in alphabetical order. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had the first word.
Russian President Vladimir Putin would never fall to the level of personal insults, Kremlin official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said