According to the recollections of the Norilsk mayor Yuri Smolov, who accompanied the guest to Talnah together with the director of the plant Boris Kolesnikov, the traffic on the road was stopped while the car with the president was traveling. The residents of Norilsk, who went to the countryside on a warm Sunday, stood on the side of the road in swimming suits. At first, the president wondered why undressed people were waving their hands to him, and having figured out what the matter was, he answered the greetings smiling.
Among the questions that Urho Kekkonen was interested in during his visit to Norilsk on June 27-28, 1976, was the supply of the Finnish equipment for the Nadezhda metallurgical plant under construction. It follows from the documents of the Norilsk city archive that the guest was satisfied with both the results of his trip to Norilsk and, in general, with the negotiations on Soviet-Finnish cooperation in non-ferrous metallurgy at the government level.
In 1976, the 76-year-old president had been in power for two decades and was highly respected in his own country and the world. In 1980, several dozen Finnish specialists came to supervise the Nadezhda constructing. The Nadezhda metallurgical plant in Norilsk went into operation in 1981, a year before the end of Kekkonen’s presidential term.
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Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Nornickel Polar branch archive