Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Tight Security Ahead of Trump-Putin Meeting in Helsinki

Tight Security Ahead of Trump-Putin  Meeting in Helsinki

HELSINKI - Finland may have largely shut down for the summer holidays but officials and police have been drafted back into work ahead of a historic summit in Helsinki between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
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.
As tourists wander through the sunshine-filled streets, US secret service agents in obligatory dark shades have occasionally been glimpsed appearing to conduct security checks, as have Russian security personal.
Announced at the end of last month, the Trump-Putin summit is the largest event of its kind in the Finnish capital since former US President Bill Clinton and Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin met in 1994.
Many Finns told AFP they were excited the city was hosting the meeting, pleased the country of 5.5 million people will likely be the centre of world attention for at least a few hours on Monday.
Finnish authorities have had to rush to ensure logistics and security are ready on time.
The government on Friday announced it would reintroduce controls for travellers from the Schengen zone, 26 countries which are part of the European free movement area, to “identify people posing risks” during the summit. Activists will be exempt “as long as they will not pose a threat to public safety and security and do not appear on certain registers and analyses,” said deputy head of the Finnish Border Guard Kimmo Elomaa.  (AFP)