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. adidas Alphabounce RC multicolour men's Shoes (Trainers) in multicolour RC 3b3f7f

The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage adidas Alphabounce RC multicolour men's Shoes (Trainers) in multicolour RC 3b3f7f

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. El Naturalista EL VIAJERO FLIDSU women's Mid Boots in Red, Nike PANTHEOS men's Shoes (Trainers) in Betty London IMAMI women's Court Shoes in Pink,Northwave Jet Evo Road Cycling Shoes - Size: 46 - Colour: Black,Hendrix Toe Cap Ballerina Pump, Clarks LAFLEY ALETHA women's Sandals in Silver,BOSS Green Men's Space Mesh Trainers - Black - UK 7 - Reebok Sport Quickedge Run women's Shoes (Trainers) in Pink, Regard RETAZU women's Casual Shoes in Silver, Irregular Choice LOVE PEACE women's Mules / Casual Shoes in Blue,Saint Laurent Ankle Boot - Women Saint Laurent Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 44941739LT,Jumpy Chelsea Boot - Marine & Blanc - EU 38 (UK 5) adidas VS Jog men's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Blundstone CLASSIC BOOT women's Mid Boots in Brown,Bibi Lou Ballet Flats - Women Bibi Lou Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11472064WCDiadora Heritage Sneakers Shoes Men Diadora Heritage, Geox Waviness men's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Skechers GO WALK LITE women's Boat Shoes in Blue,Superga Women's 2750 Cotmetu Trainers - Gold - UK 8 - GoldL' Autre Chose Ballet Flats - Women L' Autre Chose Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11530901PA,Vanilla Bikes FLR F-15.III Road Shoe, Versace Jeans TOMMY YRBSB1 men's Shoes (Trainers) in White,Puma Ignite Limitless SR Netfit (190962-01),Nike Special Project WMNS Special Field Air Force 1 Hi Boot Nike Court Borough Mid Prem men's Shoes (Trainers) in Grey, adidas Hamburg women's Shoes (Trainers) in Pink, Lola Ramona JUNE women's Sandals in Black, Geox D AUDALIES HIGH SAND women's Sandals in Gold,Canterbury Ireland Official 17/18 Mens Fleece Full Zip Hoody, Tap Shoe, Small,French Sole Ballet Flats - Women French Sole Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11523839PQ,Pinko Ballet Flats - Women Pinko Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11457007WL 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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