The official reception of foreign guests and their wives will take place on May 30 by the Bronze Horseman. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, Deputy Press Secretary to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov told journalists that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife will welcome all the foreign heads of state arriving in Saint Petersburg on the occasion of its 300th anniversary. Only US President George Bush will be absent and will only arrive in the evening of May 31. According to Mr Peskov, after the reception ceremony all the heads of state and their wives will walk to St Isaac's Cathedral where they will be met by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II and be shown around the cathedral.
Then the foreign leaders will go to a gala concert at the Mariinsky Theatre. Mr Peskov said that the BBC had all the rights to broadcast the concert. Afterwards Mr and Mrs Putin will host a celebratory dinner onboard the ship Silver Whisper on the occasion of the city's 300th anniversary.
Mr Peskov added that there will be many meetings and negotiations with foreign leaders over the next few days, although a definite timetable has not yet been set.