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Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted on his 70th birthday on Friday (October 7) an informal summit of CIS leaders in his native city of St. Petersburg.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko presented Putin with a certificate for a tractor - a trademark product of Belarusian industry - with Lukashenko boasting it was a Belarus model: "The best one... assembled by hand".

Putin was also gifted a huge pile of melons and watermelons by Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rahmon.

The leader of Kyrgyzstan, Sadir Japarov, did not attend the informal summit in St. Petersburg. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have recently clashed in a fresh uptick in a long-simmering border dispute.

Putin said in opening remarks that "apart from Ukraine, where really tragic events are happening, regrettably conflicts occasionally occur between other close states in the post-Soviet space," insisting that steps needed to be taken to resolve them.


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