Finland beefs up security for Trump-Putin summit on July 16
Helsinki, July 14: Authorities in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, were on their toes preparing for the high-profile summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday, July 16. According to AFP, the Nordic country was shut for the summer holidays but officials and police officers were called back into work to gear up for the big occasion.
"Thousands of police officers, coastguards and rescue workers who were on vacation have been asked to return, with demonstrators expected to loudly protest the US-Russian presidential meeting, although on a smaller scale than the huge anti-Trump demonstrations in London earlier this week," the report said.
Secret service agents from both the US and Russia were seen doing the security checking occasionally, AFP added.
The announcement of the meeting happened in June end following diplomatic parleys between the two sides. US National Security Adviser John Bolton was in Russia towards the end of last month and met officials other than President Putin to lay the groundwork leading to the summit.
Helsinki has been a common venue of summits between the two powers in history. During the Cold War era, there were more than instances of American presidents meeting leaders of former Soviet Union in this city while in 1997, the then American president Bill Clinton had met former Russian president Boris Yeltsin here.
The Finnish government on Friday, July 13, said it would begin controlling travellers from the Schengen zone - 26 countries that are part of the European free movement area - to "identify people posing risks" during the Trump-Putin talks.
It also said that activists will be allowed as long as they did not pose a threat to public safety and security, the report added.
The summit with Putin is the second high-profile one that Trump is attending after his historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.