Carlos Barria / REUTERS Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, July 2017. Shoes adidas ZX Flux men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue 381810

The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage Shoes adidas ZX Flux men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue 381810

MICHAEL KIMMAGE is Professor of History at the Catholic University of America and the author of The Decline of the West: An American Story. From 2014 to 2016, he served on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, where he held the Russia/Ukraine portfolio. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Stone Wash men's Shoes (Trainers) in Grey, Dr Martens 1460 men's Mid Boots in Black,Vans Authentic Skate Shoes (cotton hemp) natural/true white,New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz (MCRUZOG),Gabor Kinloch Womens Dress Court Shoes Colour: Black Suede, Size: 4.5, Dr Martens GRYPHON women's Sandals in Brown, Skechers YOU SPIRIT women's Shoes (Trainers) in Pink,Dr. Martens 1461 Smooth Leather 3-Eye Shoes - Cherry Red - UK 9 - Red, Versace Jeans ANITA VRBSB1 women's Shoes (Trainers) in Black,Robert Clergerie Ankle Boot - Women Robert Clergerie Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 11495519FEGabor Craiglea Womens Ballet Pumps Colour: Mutaro, Size: 9, Puma Naturel Clyde Black Rain men's Shoes (Trainers) in White, adidas Courtvantage W women's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Tommy Hilfiger FW0FW02811 women's Sandals in White,Santoni Ankle Boot - Women Santoni Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 11056403AK, Fericelli HOULANE women's High Boots in BrownStudio Spiga Ankle Boot - Women Studio Spiga Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 11504372VE, Helly Hansen AHIGA V3 HYDROPOWER women's Outdoor Shoes in Blue,Nike Air Max 95 OG (307960-010),Kendall + Kylie Juniper Espadrillas, Diadora CAMARO WN women's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Philippe Model Paris Tropez blue leather and suede sneaker men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue,Peter Kaiser GENOVA PETER KAISER STRETCH ANKLE BOT Size: 3, Colour: BLNike Jordan Super.Fly 2017 Low (AA2547-023),Catarina Martins Boots - Women Catarina Martins Boots online on United Kingdom - 11395237PA,Reebok Club C 85 Zip (BS6612),Agl Attilio Giusti Leombruni Boots - Women Agl Attilio Giusti Leombruni Boots online on United Kingdom - 11470122GX,Adidas Originals Nmd R1 Stlt Sneakers,31641 Dr Martens Graeme Tan Boanil Brush Boots 16729220,Vans SK8-HI Reissue Made For The Makers (Black),Saint-Honoré Paris Souliers Ballet Flats - Women Saint-Honoré Paris Souliers Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11325978NG, Historic U.S.-Russian meetings tend to occur outside of Washington and Moscow. Franklin Delano Roosevelt first encountered Joseph Stalin in Tehran. At the end of World War II, they met again at Yalta, a name that would thereafter signify Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Harry Truman’s one and only meeting with Stalin was in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin. John F. Kennedy had a shaky meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Geneva, while Ronald Reagan had a memorable collision with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet for a frenetically anticipated summit on July 16 in Helsinki. Their encounter—coming amid cascading revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, unnerving questions about Trump’s admiration for his Russian counterpart, and U.S.-Russian tensions around the globe—is certain to be a media spectacle. But as its location subtly implies, the real importance of the meeting may have little to do with the theatrics at the top. Unglamorous, largely unnoticed diplomatic processes could prove more consequential. In Helsinki in 1975, the United States, the Soviet Union, and various European powers devised a security architecture for Europe that was controversial at the time but ultimately crucial to the Cold War’s peaceful end. Without the Helsinki Accords, which fostered agreement on Europe’s borders and enshrined a nominal commitment to human rights in the Eastern bloc, the revolutions of 1989 may never have come and almost certainly would not have been as peaceful as they were.

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