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. Converse Chuck Taylor All in Star women's Shoes (Trainers) in All Beige cf7144

The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage Converse Chuck Taylor All in Star women's Shoes (Trainers) in All Beige cf7144

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. Pepe jeans GABLE CAVIAR women's Shoes (Trainers) in Silver, Puma HEART PEBBLE women's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue,Belstaff Boots - Women Belstaff Boots online on United Kingdom - 11535904KM,Cuoieria Boots - Women Cuoieria Boots online on United Kingdom - Base London Guinea men's Mid Boots in Wildflower DINA women's Loafers / Casual Shoes in Blue,31523 Paraboot Michael Marche Lis Nuit Shoe 715610Valentino Garavani Ballet Flats - Women Valentino Garavani Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11460989JG, J.bradford Boot Blue Leather JB-AMY women's Mid Boots in Nike Men's Court Borough Low Shoe 838937 010 men's Shoes (Trainers) in Black,Stanley Melrose Safety Boot - Black Size adidas Campus women's Shoes (Trainers) in Pink,Chloé Boots - Women Chloé Boots online on United Kingdom - Asics Kanmei MX women's Running Trainers in Purple,Gabor Craiglea Womens Ballet Pumps Colour: Mutaro, Size: 5.5, Puma Carson Runner WN women's Shoes (Trainers) in Black, Geox D MODESTY women's Espadrilles / Casual Shoes in Silver,Giuseppe Zanotti Boots - Women Giuseppe Zanotti Boots online on United Kingdom - 11545724SGBoreal Salsa W's Sport Shoes - Women, Women, Salsa W's, turquoise, 6,Mules in 100% leather Peter Hahn blue, Supra FLOW RUN women's Shoes (Trainers) in WhitePalladium Womens String Grey Pampa Low Cuff Coolway SANDALIA women's Sandals in Black,Adidas Nemeziz 17+ 360 Agility FG (CM7732),L' Autre Chose Ballet Flats - Women L' Autre Chose Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11487464LCPeter Kaiser CARSTA PETER KAISER 25MM SLING BACKS Colour: MULTI TROPIC,Scruffs Switchback Safety Hiker Boot - Brown Size 8,NIKE Women's W Air Max Jewell Lea Gymnastics Shoes, Blue (Lt Pumice/MTLC Cool Grey 002), 6 UK, Peter Blade Derby Black Leather DRAGON men's Smart / Formal Shoes in Black,Cavallini Boots - Women Cavallini Boots online on United Kingdom - Deicolli 1CLOUD1001 women's Sandals in Grey, 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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