Russian president Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Finland around noon on Monday for a state visit. The two-day visit includes official talks with president Tarja Halonen. Top agenda items during talks include energy, Russian timber tariffs and easing visa formalities between the two countries.
Flags will be raised in Helsinki and Porvoo early in the week to mark the visit by the Russian head of state.
On Monday, Medvedev will give a talk at Helsinki University, which will be broadcast live on YLE’s TV channel 1 as well as on YLE’s internet pages from 5.08 PM onwards.
A joint press conference by Halonen and Medvedev will be available on the YLE Finnish-language Internet service between 3PM and 4PM.
An association demanding the return of Karelia to Finland is expected to stage a demonstration in Helsinki on Monday. Police, however, say they don’t anticipate any large protests.
Visit Disrupts Traffic
Police urge motorists to avoid the areas around the Helsinki Market Square on Monday. Streets near the Presidential Palace will be blocked off during reception ceremonies.
Motorcades will also disrupt public transport on Monday. Tram lines 1, 1A, 3B and 3T as well as the number 16 bus will see schedule changes.
Special parking restrictions are in force in downtown Helsinki from Sunday through Tuesday. Affected districts include Etu-Töölö, Hietaniemi and Munkkiniemi.