The United States President Donald Trump met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Finland for a crucial summit as allegations of Russia meddling in US Elections 2016 continues. The political leaders were welcomed to Helsinki by the country's largest newspaper making an important point about the freedom of the press. Finnish newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat in their billboard ads informed Trump and Putin that they were "in the land of free press".
Many social media users shared pictures of the billboards taking a dig at the politicians and their popular comments on different issues. Kaius Niemi, editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, shared picture of a banner saying that hundreds of such banners have been put up in the city ahead of the summit on the routes to the venue. One of the boards read, "Mr. President welcome to the land of free press."
Here are some of the other one-liners the leaders were treated to:
— Vitux (@Supervitux) July 16, 2018
Greenpeace climbers put up a banner on a church tower calling for climate action as Trump and Putin met in Finland:
Our planet is in danger.
— Jaana Uolamo (@JaanaUolamo) July 16, 2018
A banner at the Helsinki Central railway station by Amnesty International:
The #TrumpPutinSummit. I do love Helsinki & Finland. A wonderful, friendly & profoundly decent society & people. This is Helsinki railway station today. #Helsinki #Finland HT @amnesty pic.twitter.com/GVXCpS2ip2
— Gerry Hassan (@GerryHassan) July 16, 2018
'Trump furious over leaks and blames media for complicating meeting with Putin', 'Trump continues to ban reporters','Trump calls media enemy of the people' were some of the other captions on the banners put on public display. Check out the pictures here:
— Scoops (@jb5006812) July 16, 2018
On Sunday, The Human Rights Campaign placed banners on Finland's Presidential Palace criticising Putin's approach and treatment of Chechnya's LGBTQ community. While some banners appear to just troll Trump, other take a strong stand criticising him. Reportedly, the newspaper planted 300 billboards around the city ahead of the summit. In its press release, the Finland newspaper compared press freedom in Russia and the United States to how it is in other countries around the world.
The statement read, "The relations between both the Russian and United States presidents and the free press have been problematic. In Russia, the freedom of the press has become almost non-existent during the reign of Putin. In the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, Russia is ranked 148. The index consists of 180 countries."