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. Sebastian TESS women's Court Shoes in GreyValentino Garavani Heeled Sandals Shoes Women Valentino GaravaniSaucony Jazz Original Vintage Trainers GreyDubarry Glanmire Boots, Black/Brown, UK 6.5 (EU40),Altberg Boots AltBerg Sneeker MkII Black - 11.5 medium,Vicini Tapeet Boots - Women Vicini Tapeet Boots online on United Kingdom - 11422842RL, Superga 745 RBRU WELLIES men's Wellington Boots in Lotus ANGELONIA women's Low Boots in Black,Church's Brogue Shoes Shoes Men Church's,So Dancer CH95 - UK 8 - UK 7.5Rockport Essential Detail WP Apron,Jeffrey Campbell Getaway Flatform BLACK MONO LEATHER,Santoni Boots - Women Santoni Boots online on United Kingdom - 11528233JB, Irregular Choice RUBY ENVELOPE women's Court Shoes in Red, Airstep / A.S.98 SAINT women's Mid Boots in Stonefly LUCKY 13 men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue,Office Kone- Ultra High Slouch Knee Boot BLACK SUEDEDr Martens Wingtip Brogue Red,Saucony Shadow 5000 x Quiet Life - Zwart,Marni Boots - Women Marni Boots online on United Kingdom - 11052481FO, Serafini J.CONNORS women's Shoes (Trainers) in White, Desigual TAJMAHAL BEADS women's Flip flops / Sandals (Shoes) in Skechers ELITE FLEX men's Shoes (Trainers) in BlueSuperga 2754 COTU MIDTOP 2.5 (EU 35) WhiteSkechers Go Walk 4 Trainers Wide Fit,Nike Wmns Air Huarache Run - Wit,Hunter Boots - Women Hunter Boots online on United Kingdom - Maria Lya Blossom Womens Moccasins women's Loafers / Casual Shoes in Beige, Azzaro EZANO men's Shoes (Trainers) in Blue, Stonefly JANIS women's Low Ankle Boots in Red,The 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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Nike Air Force Wit 1 '07 LV8 - Wit Force b49369

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