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Protests crop up in Helsinki ahead of Putin-Trump summit

The meeting between the Russian and US presidents will take place in Helsinki today

HELSINKI, July 16. /TASS/. Several demonstrations are taking place in Finland’s capital of Helsinki on Monday ahead of the highly-talked about meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump, a TASS correspondent reported, adding that the protests were transpiring in the city’s center.

In particular, the youth wing of the ruling National Coalition Party is holding a demonstration in Esplanadi Park near the Presidential Palace where Putin and Trump are expected to meet later in the day. Activists are calling on the US leader to reconsider his trade policy, particularly the decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Another protest, initiated by the London-based human rights NGO, Amnesty International, is taking place in front of the city’s Central Railway Station. Demonstrators are holding a banner reading "Make Human Rights Great Again."

In addition, Greenpeace members have placed a huge banner reading "Warm Our Hearts, Not Our Planet" on a 64-meter tower belonging to one of Helsinki’s churches. According to Greenpeace’s sources, they received permission to do this from the church’s authorities. The banner can be seen from the main press center in the Finlandia Hall congress venue.

Helsinki police said that a total of 13 protest actions were planned for Monday. "Participants estimate the amount varying from several people to several dozen (protestors)," a police source said.

The meeting between the Russian and US presidents will take place in Helsinki on July 16. Putin and Trump first held talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. In November 2017, the Russian and US heads of state held a brief meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam, adopting a joint statement on Syria. In addition, the two leaders have also held several telephone conversations.