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.

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The Real Opportunity Behind the Media Spectacle

By Michael Kimmage

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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.

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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. CallagHan SPRINGER men's Shoes (Trainers) in White,Jimmy Choo Ny Sneakers Trainer BlackShake Shoes - Dark Tan - Extra Wide Fit - 6Dubarry Waterville Boots, Old Rum, UK 9 (EU43)Charles Tyrwhitt Brown Goodyear Welted Oxford Brogue Shoe Size 7 W by Charles Tyrwhitt,Allooora Court - Women Allooora Courts online on United Kingdom - 11216663RR, Robert Clergerie NALONA-AGNEAU-STRETCH-NOIR women's Slip-ons (Shoes) in Black, Eleven Paris BASIC MATERIALS men's Shoes (High-top Trainers) in Blue,Genevieve Patent Toecap Slipper Cut Shoe,New Yorker - Black - UK 6.5 - EU 41Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport Shoe,TORY BURCH TWO-BAND ELASTIC SLIDE,Sergio Rossi Boots - Women Sergio Rossi Boots online on United Kingdom - 11067985PE, Mustang BOULIL women's Sandals in Grey, Pikolinos MALDIVAS W9F women's Shoes (Pumps / Ballerinas) in Robert Clergerie VALERIE women's Court Shoes in Black,Patty - 5.5cm Heel - Nappa Red - UK 6.5,Dubarry Navigator Deck Shoes, Whiskey, UK10,Footjoy Embody Womens Golf Boots,Nila & Nila Boots - Women Nila & Nila Boots online on United Kingdom - 11474297QQ, Superga 2750 COTBOUCLERBRW women's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue, Robert Clergerie JUNON women's Sandals in Black, Dream in Green HOULI women's Mid Boots in Black,Bonanza (Global) Handmade Men Formal Leather Shoes, Men black Color Dress Leather Shoes,Vango Women's Nomad Walking Boots - Chocolate - UK 4,Nike Rosherun NM - Geel,Lagoa Boots - Women Lagoa Boots online on United Kingdom - Regard RIFACAL women's Casual Shoes in Black, Sendra boots DAVIS women's High Boots in Brown, New Rock MANTROFUSA women's High Boots in BlackThe lessons of that previous U.S.-Russian encounter in Helsinki are worth remembering now. The agreement that resulted involved years of drab, painstaking diplomacy. It required agonizing compromise on both sides. It rested on work rather than optics. Under the shadow of low expectations, a difficult process preceded final success. The summit’s real importance, in other words, had little to do with momentary media spectacle. The same could be true of next week’s Trump-Putin meeting.

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New Balance Balance New 577 MK - Groen 7ecb81

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