Sunday, October 22, 2006

No more Visas. Putin in Lahti. Greek salad.

There are more and more journalists in Finland who don't get visas the Russia any more. Once, when Anna Politkovskaya (Politkovskaja) was in Finland, there were about 5-6 journalists around a tabl, of the kind. (We were in restaurant Kappeli, having blinys and wine. Lovely evening, that was!)

A (late) human rights lawyer Mati Wuori, who was with us, said it is outrageous.

So, on Friday, we went to a small, strange town of Lahti, to meet Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin. (See the previuous entry, from Thu 19 Oct.)

Lahti is located by a lake called Vesijärvi. In English, "Waterlake". Isn't that a wonderful example of the endless sources of imagination of our ancestors?

Back to the protest /vigil /demonstration. Nowadays the police are hysteric, and so are the Heads of State. You can not go anywhere near the actual meetings to protest.

BUT WE HAD ALREADY WON, in that sense that according to the news Mr. Putin had had to reply the sincere and perhaps, more than slighty uncomfortabe questions about the human rights situation in Russia. Both, our Prime Minister Mati vanhanen, as well as President Tarja Halonen had discussed with Putin. Ms Halonen had a lot a chance to talk, she went to the airport to get Putin to Lahti, and together they drove there and back. More than two hours together.

But, as all the sensible activists have concluded repeatedly, it is not the talks that count, but action. Something should change. Rule of law, at first.

* *** ***** *** *

But what on earth does Greek salad have to do with all this? Believe it or not, it has EVERYTHING to do with Putin, Politkovskaya, and politics, in these two countries, Finland and Russia.

But I will explain that later this evening, Miss Funnybunny just woke up and we are going out to the rain for a while.

To be continued...

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