The leaders of the world's 20 largest economies are to arrive at the Constantine Palace outside St Petersburg, Russia on Thursday for talks aimed at bolstering the world economy, dpa reported.
But the dominant issue at the Group of 20 summit will be one that is not even on the official agenda - Syria, and US President Barack Obama's bid to win international support for a military strike following accusations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will greet world leaders at the historic site in Strelna, overlooking the Gulf of Finland.
The venue's location, well outside St Petersburg, makes it possible to hold government functions under conditions of the highest security, isolated from the general public.
Although demonstrations against international summits are far less likely in Russia than in western countries, the Kremlin has taken unprecedented security measures for this event. These include an almost total shutdown of St Petersburg's Pulkovo airport - the third busiest in Russia.
The meeting is the first since the G20 took on renewed importance at the height of the 2008 credit crisis which won't be dominated by an urgent financial matter.
Instead, talk will be of a recovering, but still fragile, global economy and the importance of bolstering growth and job creation. Also on the agenda are international efforts to prevent tax evasion and avoidance.
Working sessions are to focus on growth and global economy, inclusive development, job creation and trade.
Russia's position as host marks the first time a member of the rising BRICS group of nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will have staged the G20 summit.
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