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.
Putin said that NATO increased its military personnel by 10,000 people in the areas where NATO troops should not even be in accordance with key documents
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969