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. Reebok Sport ROYAL CL JOGGER Black men's Shoes (Trainers) in Black JOGGER fb9e48

The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage Reebok Sport ROYAL CL JOGGER Black men's Shoes (Trainers) in Black JOGGER fb9e48

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. Neosens NEGREDA women's Sandals in Black, Asolo FINDER GV ML women's Walking Boots in Grey,Sam Edelman Ankle Boot - Women Sam Edelman Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 11453971TS, Asics GEL-LYTE women's Shoes (Trainers) in Grey,Cesare Paciotti Boots - Women Cesare Paciotti Boots online on United Kingdom - 11505176VC,Asics Gel Hyper Tri 3 (T723N-9093), Crocs Swiftwater Sandal M Espressoblack men's Sandals in Brown,Loafers in 100% leather Paul Green white,Alexander Wang Amelia Studded Leather SlippersDr. Martens 3989 Derby Victoria DEPORTIVO LASER ESTRELLAS women's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Peter Blade Boat Loafer Navy Blue leather NAUTILIUS men's Boat Shoes in Blue, Marc O'Polo GARIS women's Shoes (Trainers) in Orange,42842 Stan Smith Snake - Legend Ink & Off Geox D JAMILAH 2FIT women's Loafers / Casual Shoes in Brown,Y-3 Suberou Suede And Neoprene Sneakers, Birkenstock MADRID women's Mules / Casual Shoes in White,Converse Shoes - Converse All Star Ox Shoes - Navy, J.bradford Man Dark Brown Leather Shoes Richelieu RICHARD men's Smart / Formal Shoes in Brown,Skechers Go Walk Sport Supreme Slip On Ladies Walking Shoes - Blue/White, 6.5 UKGeorge J. Love Boots - Women George J. Love Boots online on United Kingdom - 11540556QV, Tommy Hilfiger HARLOW men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue,Izas Frosty Sandals - Fuxia, 43Birkenstock Arizona Two Strap MAGIC SNAKE Dorking NATY women's Court Shoes in Red, Frank Wright RUDD men's Casual Shoes in Brown,Emporio Armani Ballet Flats - Women Emporio Armani Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11523508UT,Puma Speed 600 Ignite v2 Mens Running Shoes - 9 UK, Wonders e-4026 women casual shoes navy women's Court Shoes in Beige,Amblers Safety FS147 Safety Boot - Honey Size 6, Bruno Premi I1102P women's Casual Shoes in Brown, 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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