Leonid Kuchma confessed that birthdays are hard occasions for him. Answering after the Kremlin negotiations the question of reporters why the Ukrainian leader wanted to celebrate his birthday in Russia, Kuchma said smiling that he was following the Russian President's example.
Vladimir Putin, as Chairman of the Council of CIS States' Heads, fixed the next Commonwealth summit for October 7 (Putin's birthday) in Chisinau. "What could I do?" smiled the Ukrainian leader.
However, he said, "birthdays are hard, and if you can steal away from such an occasion you've got to take your chance."