An official United States airplane landed at Turku Airport (southern Finland) late Tuesday, sparking speculation that US President Donald Trump might visit Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s summer residence in nearby Naantali before or after a summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in the capital.
That meeting is set for Monday 16 July. The exact location and timing have not yet been unveiled.
A similar aircraft was spotted at Helsinki Airport on Sunday, according to tabloid newspaper Ilta-Sanomat.
There were unconfirmed reports that the plane would remain at Turku Airport until Thursday. Airport officials did not provide information about the plane’s schedule or other arrangements concerning the American plane.
Will Trump visit president’s summer residence?
Ilta-Sanomat interviewed Yle journalist and security expert Jan Fredriksson who said that the plane’s landing in Turku may indicate Trump is headed to the presidential summer residence, known as Kultaranta, on the island of Luonnonmaa.
“The only explanation you can think of is that Trump for one reason or another wants to visit Kultaranta. It is possible that some kind of
equipment is being taken there,” Fredriksson told IS.
The president’s residence is located about 20 km west of Turku Airport, just off the coast of the town of Naantali.
Putin met with Niinistö at Kultaranta in 2016.
The two US aircraft seen at the Helsinki and Turku airports this week are Boeing C-40 B/C planes, which transport “safe, comfortable and reliable transportation for US leaders to locations around the world,” according to the US Air Force website.
The militarily-outfitted Boeings feature advanced communications systems and video equipment, office space and can carry up to 42 passengers, according to the Air Force.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International
Finland: Various protests planned in Helsinki for Trump-Putin summit, Yle News
Norway: Adding U.S. Marines in Norway creates instability, says Russia, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russia postpones minister-level business talks with Norway, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden reluctantly greenlights construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Radio Sweden
United States: American fighter jets intercept Russian bombers outside Alaska, Alaska Public Media