Russian planes clear clouds for G-8 summit
Moscow, July 15: Russian planes today started spraying chemicals in the sky over the St Petersburg area to stop clouds from forming and ensure pleasant sunny weather for the leaders of G-8 countries who have started arriving for the G-8 summit.
Weather services had forecast short spells of rain in the St Petersburg region.
''Three aircraft are engaged in the effort at the moment,'' a spokesman for the temporary headquarters in charge of ensuring favourable weather conditions during the G-8 summit told RIA Novosti news agency.
''Up to ten planes could be engaged if necessary,'' he said.
Weather services said air temperatures in Russia's second largest city would be above 20-22 degree Celsius, and promised northern winds at a velocity of 10-15 meters per second.
Clouds will also be dispersed tomorrow, when main summit events take place, the spokesman said and added it was so far unclear whether sky clearing would be required on Monday, the final day of the summit.
Strict security is in place in St Petersburg.
Chief executive of Russian President's Office Vladimir Kozhin told Interfax news agency the G-8 leaders would not leave the Constantine Palace (the Palace of Congresses) compound near St Petersburg during the summit.
''We have not received any extra applications or requests for any events from leaders or delegations taking part in the summit. No events are planned, not even privately,'' Mr Kozhin said.