Security Officials Grab China’s President Xi As He Stumbles On Stage In Russia
Chinese president Xi Jinping almost tumbled off the stage at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum today (Friday 7 June) - but thankfully someone nearby managed to grab him so he could regain his balance.
The St Petersburg International Economic Forum is an annual business event that's been held in the Russian capital since 1997. This year, it started on 6 June, and is due to run until 8 June.
President Xi was moving along the front of the stage to shake hands with people in the audience as a panel session drew to a close.
As Xi walked along the edge of the stage to greet audience members, who were reaching up to him to shake his hand, at one point he seemed to overstretch to reach someone and almost lost his balance, stumbling slightly.
Luckily, several men close by - believed to be security personnel - were quick thinking enough to spot what had happened, and managed to help the president upright before he joined the other panel members as they left the stage.
Xi was in St Petersburg to discuss cooperation between Moscow and Beijing, having arrived in the Russian capital on Wednesday for a three-day visit.
The session had also been attended by other leaders like Russian president Vladimir Putin, who Xi had been hanging out with as part of his trip.
At Friday's forum, Xi recounted a boat trip down Saint Petersburg's Neva River that he and Putin had enjoyed the day before.
During a meeting at the Kremlin, Xi also reportedly referred to the Russian leader as his 'best friend'.
At this year's forum, Putin said it was 'not a problem' that he was not invited to join other world leaders marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France.
He said he had 'enough business' of his own in Russia.
Putin had joined the last commemoration in 2014, but this year was not invited.
He said: "We also don't invite everyone to every event. Why should I be invited everywhere? I have enough business of my own here."
His comments follow remarks made by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said the significance of D-Day in the outcome of the war should not be overplayed.
"It should of course not be exaggerated," Maria Zakhorova, a spokeswoman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.
"And especially not at the same time as diminishing the Soviet Union's titanic efforts, without which this victory simply would not have happened."
Featured Image Credit: PA