02:21 GMT +320 November 2019
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    Trump-Putin Summit Promotes Helsinki as Venue for 'Challenging' Events – Mayor

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    HELSINKI (Sputnik) – The upcoming summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, set to take place in Helsinki on Monday, promotes the Finnish capital city as a possible venue for future challenging meetings between top officials, Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori told Sputnik.

    "Now that this happens and everyone is reporting that Helsinki is a place that can organize such a meeting even in two weeks, of course, it promotes our possibilities to be the venue for different kinds of big difficult challenging events even in future," Vapaavuori said.

    He added that Helsinki was chosen partly for being known as a reliable, predictable, and functional city, and the authorities managed to organize everything on a very short notice.

    "It was not hard, but of course it took time, and it was some effort of course. One challenge was that we are in the middle of our vacation season, so we needed to ask some people to come back from their vacations, including me… We have an experience with this kind of meetings, we have the know-how, and then we had a pragmatic approach from the very beginning, from the day one, so we just do it," the mayor said.

    READ MORE: Putin-Trump Summit to 'Put America in Better Place', Sec. of State Pompeo Says

    He added that Putin and Trump do not have any cultural program envisaged because of a very busy schedule.

    "Unfortunately, no. I am afraid they won't have time for that," the mayor said, asked whether any cultural program for the two presidents was planned.

    In contrast, Vapaavuori expressed hope that 1,500 foreign journalists who had come to Helsinki to cover the summit would spend some quality time in the city.

    "I think it's a little bit old-fashioned to go to some specific sights. I think it's much nicer to just walk around in the city. Someone wants to go to the [Helsinki] archipelago, someone wants to go to a public sauna, the third one just wants to walk around. It's a nice and beautiful, clean, safe and lovely city. I hope that journalists spend as much time as possible also outside the media center," the mayor said.

    READ MORE: Putin-Trump Summit: Stabilizing the World Order

    Helsinki has prepared an impressive media center for the summit, offering Finnish food specialties, a shipping container converted into a sauna and a special lounge for watching the FIFA World Cup Final on Sunday.

    Some 2,000 journalists, including pool reporters, from over 60 countries have been accredited and accommodated in the hotels without overpricing or any other problems. Around the same amount of police officers on duty were called for reinforcement. The city is taking advantage of the summit in terms of the country branding.


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    summit, meeting, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Finland
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