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. Jogger Reebok Sport Royal CL Jogger 2 men's Shoes (Trainers) in Yellow 6285d5

The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage Jogger Reebok Sport Royal CL Jogger 2 men's Shoes (Trainers) in Yellow 6285d5

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. Gola HARRIER men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue, Pepe jeans GABLE CAVIAR women's Shoes (Trainers) in SilverGabor Lisa Womens Casual Shoes Colour: Black Patent, Size: 5Grenson Women's Nora Burnished Suede Chelsea Boots - Black - UK 4 - Black, Nike Mercurial Superfly 6 Club CR7 MG men's Football Boots in Black,Lacoste Womens Navy/White Helaine Runner 116 3 SPW Faguo OAK COTTON women's Shoes (Trainers) in White,Gabor Craiglea Womens Ballet Pumps Colour: White, Size: 7,Jil Sander Ballet Flats - Women Jil Sander Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11539725MM,Office Athens- Chelsea Block Heel BLACK CROC LEATHER, Reebok Sport Furylite men's Shoes (Trainers) in White,Casadei Ballet Flats - Women Casadei Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - Philippe Model Paris Tropez white and grey sneakers women's Shoes (Trainers) in Philippe Model Paris Philippe ModelEiffel silver leather sneaker women's Shoes (Trainers) in Silver, Ravel AKRON women's Low Ankle Boots in Black,L' Autre Chose Ballet Flats - Women L' Autre Chose Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11189450RT,TCX X-Square Lady Motorcycle Boots, Black, Size Wildflower CALIPSO women's Low Ankle Boots in Beige,Gabor Competition Dress Court Shoes Colour: Black, Size: 8, adidas CF Racer TR men's Shoes (Trainers) in Black,Wiggle Online Cycle Shop Gaerne G. Tornado Road Shoes Road ShoesNIKE Buty Męskie Jordan Eclipse Chukka Armistice STONE ONE W women's Shoes (Trainers) in Silver,Nike WMNS Air Max 1 Premium SC (Grey) adidas VS Star men's Shoes (Trainers) in White,Zinda Ankle Boot - Women Zinda Ankle Boots online on United Kingdom - 11517923PICollection Privēe? Ballet Flats - Women Collection Privēe? Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11099721IB, Pepe jeans Industry Basic Boy PBS30190 women's Shoes (Trainers) in WhiteKangaroos Ultimate Star OG - Grijs,Guess Ballet Flats - Women Guess Ballet Flats online on United Kingdom - 11521723QW,Superga Women's 2790 Linea Up Down Flatform Trainers - White - UK 8 - White, 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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