Finland: Oulu gears up for Medvedev visit


The agenda for the visit by the Russian Prime Minister is expected to focus on discussions concerning economic issues and other elements of bilateral relations.


Medvedev and Sipilä


Chief Inspector Arto Autio of the Oulu Police Department, who is directing local security during the event, told Yle that arrangements have been a major undertaking. Police in Oulu have been involved in inter-agency cooperation with central government officials, the National Bureau of Investigation, the national Security Intelligence Service, the Coast Guard, the Defence Forces and the City of Oulu’s own security team.


According to Autio, the Coast Guard has been involved in airport security planning and military police will be seen on the streets of Oulu Friday, especially at certain intersections.


Practical arrangements have been polished over a period of several weeks.


“The planning for this kind of event takes time and resources. But, however, I think we’ll have a good state visit, free of incidents,” says Chief Inspector Autio.


There will be a strong police presence in Oulu on Friday. No exact figure was forthcoming from Autio, but he did indicate that more than 200 officers will be on duty during the day. Most of them will be members of Oulu’s own department, but backup is also being called in from both Lapland and Helsinki.


Part of the job will be dealing with traffic. Some roads and streets in the centre of the city will be closed during the visit and public transport rerouted.


In addition, there will be temporary restrictions imposed on the airspace over the city. In practice this will mean that while regular services to and from Oulu airport will continue operating, flights by drones or other aircraft will be banned in the area.


It’s expected that locals will see most of the affects of upgraded security arrangements in Oulu on Friday between noon and 6 PM.