Motorists and commuters in the capital region should prepare for traffic disruptions due to the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, 16 July.
Police have reminded that a number of motorcades will move around the capital region during the course of the day, causing notable traffic disruptions in central Helsinki and on roads connecting the city with Helsinki Airport.
For example, the Esplanades, South Harbor and Helsinki Market Square will be closed for all traffic on Monday.
“We are talking about traffic disruptions so major that I warmly recommend that you avoid using a car in central parts of [the city] or at least make sure you have enough time for getting from one place to another,” says Heikki Kopperoinen, the acting Chief of Police at Helsinki Police Department.
“The guests can change their plans at a very short notice and cause long and unexpected disruptions in various parts of Helsinki and Vantaa,” he adds.
Jan Vapaavuori, the Mayor of Helsinki, has asked local residents, business owners and visitors for patience and understanding due to the special arrangements necessitated by the widely anticipated summit.
“This is, after all, a wonderful opportunity for Helsinki and Finland,” he states. “We can show the city at its best and leave a positive and service-oriented impression of Helsinki.”
Presidents Putin and Trump will sit down today at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki.
The high-level meeting had an impact on traffic arrangements in the capital region already on Sunday, with a number of demonstrations taking place in Helsinki and President Trump arriving at Helsinki Airport at 9pm. Helsinki Calling, for example, brought thousands of people to the city centre to urge the two heads of state to respect human rights, promote peace and take action on climate change. Police estimated the turnout at 2,000; the organisers of the demonstration at 4,000, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi