Thousands of business leaders and government officials from both Russia and abroad descended on St. Petersburg this week for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia’s premier business and investment conference.
Held for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, officials hailed this year’s event as a return to normal for both the economy and social life.
It also comes amid a time of of heightened political tensions between Moscow and the West that have chilled foreign investments in Russia.
And during his keynote speech, President Vladimir Putin reiterated his calls for Russians to get vaccinated against coronavirus, said Russia would open its doors to vaccine tourism, criticized rich nations for hoarding extra jabs and said he was serious about fighting climate change.
Here’s a look at some of the most unique scenes from this year’s three-day event: