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Tuesday's papers: HS looks to Russia, Wolt plots next move, barnacle geese a tough opponent

The papers ask whether change is coming to Russia, if Wolt can keep growing, and how to save crops from marauding waterfowl.

Valkoposkihanhi / Espoo 14.08.2020
Barnacle geese are in the news again. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

Finnish attention has been drawn eastwards since Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's return and subsequent arrest. Last week President Sauli Niinistö raised the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling reporters, "I had a long discussion with Putin and we went through the Navalny situation."

Niinistö previously received thanks for his help in getting Russian officials to allow Navalny to fly to Germany for medical treatment.

The detention of protesters including Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnya sparked condemnation internationally, with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto tweeting "arrests of peaceful protesters in Russia, including Yulia Navalnaya, are not acceptable." Navalnya has since been released.

Finnish media has consequently been transfixed by the drama in Russia and the reaction of Finnish leaders.

"Is this the beginning of a new era?" asks the front page of Tuesday's Helsingin Sanomat, which leads with analysis of the situation in Russia by its Moscow correspondent Jussi Niemeläinen, following a weekend of protests against Navalny's arrest.

Tuesday's HS also features an editorial commenting on the Russian demonstrations. The paper suggests that "change is coming in Russia," arguing that while President Putin's grip on power seems strong, few foresaw the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Wolt hits the jackpot

Following on from yesterday's news that food delivery firm Wolt had secured 440 million euros in funding from investors, Kauppalehti delves into what's next for the tech unicorn.

The answer: a public listing on a European stock exchange. Kauppalehti reports that the company is looking to expand in future by buying out competitors, something that issuing shares makes easier.

The paper quotes Wolt CEO Miki Kuusi who says: "Listing increases our ability to be an active buyer in the market. It enables the use of your own shares in the event of an acquisition."

According to Kauppalehti, Wolt's turnover in 2020 more than tripled to 285 million euros, while the company posted an overall loss of 38 million euros, only slightly larger than the loss of 36.1 million euros it made in 2019.

Experts struggle to evict barnacle geese

The newspaper of rural Finland, Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, reports on efforts by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) to deter barnacle geese from settling in farmers' fields.

The migratory waterfowl - a protected species - can cause damage to harvests by eating seeds when their staple diet of grass is in short supply.

The government paid out €2.7 million in goose damage compensation to farmers last year after a cooler than average spring restricted the birds' usual food supply.

According to MT, researchers from Luke tried using balloons, a hawk-shaped kite and people on foot to drive the geese away. None of the methods proved effective, however.

"None of the means can be considered cost-effective either," Jukka Forsman, a research professor in charge of the Barnacle Goose Damage Prevention project told the paper.

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