A meeting is underway between heads of state taking part in the Shanghai Organisation for Cooperation (SOC) in Peterhoff, the town of fountains. Participants include President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Kirgiz Republic Askar Akayeb, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin.
In opening the summit, Putin announced: 'I would like once again to welcome you all to our Northern Capital, St. Petersburg. Over the last year, our experts have been working productively and intensively towards reaching agreement on various issues, and also towards preparing the charter of the Shanghai Organisation.' Putin underlined that all documents to be considered today have already been initialled, and remarked that 'On this and on other issues, a more in-depth discussion will take place within the SOC with the involvement of other representatives of participant countries at the Mramor Palace'.
The president of Kazakhstan remarked in a discussion with Vladimir Putin and Askar Akayev that 'Next year it will be our turn to lead the SOC meeting.'
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia