Freezing Rain Delays Putin’s West Siberia Trip

MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin had to spend Tuesday night in a West Siberian town after his destination airport was closed due to freezing rain, his spokesman said.

On Tuesday, Putin visited Nyagan, a town of about 50,000 in West Siberia’s Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. Together with his Finnish counterpart, he opened a gas-fueled power plant built by Finnish energy company Fortum there.

The Russian president was to travel to the Third International Arctic Forum held in Salekhard, a West Siberian city near the Arctic Circle, on Tuesday evening.

“Tonight, the airport of Salekhard is closed for arrivals due to weather conditions, because of freezing rain. In this respect, a decision was made that the president would spend the night here, in Nyagan, and will fly to Salekhard [on Wednesday] morning,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The international forum, which opened in Salekhard on Tuesday, focuses on environmental issues in the Arctic.

Presidential aide Yuri Ushakov earlier said participants would discuss possible scenarios of the Arctic climate change, the current degree of pollution and legal issues of environmental protection in the region.


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