MOSCOW (AP) _ Clutching balloons and each other, thousands of couples lined up on a Moscow bridge Saturday, faced one another and then puckered up _ setting what they hope is a new world record.

Some 2,226 people _ mostly young Russians _ gathered on Moscow's Kievsky pedestrian bridge for a simultaneous kiss.

Alexei Svistunov, president of the PARI information agency which organized the event, said he thinks the kiss-off should earn a place in the record books. According to Svistunov, the previous record _ 1,400 people kissing simultaneously _ dates from 1996 and is held by the United States.

The event was held as part of the continuing St. Valentine's Day celebrations in the Russian capital.