Trump, Putin mocked by Finnish newspaper billboards over freedom of the press

PHOTO: A billboard is posted at the airport in Helsinki along President Donald Trumps route to a meeting with Russias President Vladimr Putin.Playhs.fi
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Finland's largest newspaper is welcoming President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin with a series of billboards ahead of their long-awaited summit -- mocking their notoriously bad relationships with the media with pointed messages of freedom of the press.

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Nearly 300 billboards -- which preview some of both presidents' most "turbulent relations" with the media from 2000 to 2018 -- are posted along the routes from the airport to the site of the summit, according to a press release about the campaign from Helsingin Sandomat.

PHOTO: A billboard is pictured along President Donald Trumps route to the summit in Helsinki with Russias President Vladimir Putin.hs.fi
A billboard is pictured along President Donald Trump's route to the summit in Helsinki with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

They are written in Russian as well as English.

One poster, with a headline from 2004, reads in Russian: "Russian reporter who criticized Putin gains asylum in Britain."

PHOTO: A billboard is pictured on Presidents Donald Trumps route from the airport to his meeting with Russias President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.hs.fi
A billboard is pictured on Presidents Donald Trump's route from the airport to his meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Another billboard reads in part: "Mr. President, welcome to the land of free press."

PHOTO: A billboard is pictured along President Donald Trump and Russias President Vladimir Putins route to the summit in Helsinki.hs.fi
A billboard is pictured along President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin's route to the summit in Helsinki.

According to Kaius Nieme, senior editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, the campaign's goal is to "raise the topic of the freedom of the press around the world."

"This is a statement on behalf of critical and high quality journalism," Nieme wrote in the press release. "As we welcome the presidents to the summit in Finland, we want to remind them of the importance of free press. The media shouldn't be the lap dog of any president or regime."

"We want to show our support to those colleagues who have to fight in ever toughening circumstances on a daily basis, both in the U.S. and Russia," Nieme continued.

Relations between the press and government officials in both the U.S. and Russia have been problematic throughout the years. In Russia, freedom of the press has become "almost non-existent" during the reign of Putin, according to the press release from the paper.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Helsinki, July 15, 2018, on the eve of a summit in Helsinki between the President and his Russian counterpart.Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump disembark from Air Force One upon arrival at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Helsinki, July 15, 2018, on the eve of a summit in Helsinki between the President and his Russian counterpart.

Trump, meanwhile, has called the news the "enemy of the people" and referred to their reporting as "fake news." On his way to Helsinki on Sunday, he took to Twitter to repeat the verbal attacks.

Both presidents are scheduled to meet during the Russia-U.S. summit in Helsinki on Monday.

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