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. Stuart Weitzman BEADMEUP women's High Boots in Black,Saucony Sneaker Saucony Jazz Vintage In Black And Red Mesh Fabric,Sugar Shoes - Tan - Standard Fit - 4.5,Dubarry Waterville Boots, Old Rum, UK 9 (EU43),Altberg Boots AltBerg Tabbing Boot Black - 11.5 medium,Alexander Wang Court - Women Alexander Wang Courts online on United Kingdom - 11290974NP, Menbur ESTEPONA women's Court Shoes in Beige, Tosca Blu CLEO women's Shoes (Trainers) in Black,Bryleigh Black Sand Gem-Encrusted High Heel Court Shoe,Ruth - 5cm Heel - Nappa Black - UK 6,Gola Comet Men's Plimsoll Trainers,CLEO B HIGH TASSLE ANKLE BOOT,Saint Laurent Boots - Women Saint Laurent Boots online on United Kingdom - 11500703BL, Acebo's boot jacket girl or woman women's High Boots in Brown, New Rock DESTIS men's Mid Boots in Black, Felmini COOPER women's Mid Boots in Brown,New Yorker - Black - UK 10 - EU 46,Nike Wmns Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit - MulticolorScarpa Womens Mistral GTX - EU 41,Loriblu Boots - Women Loriblu Boots online on United Kingdom - 11516501VU, BOSS Casual TUNED DESB SDFUR men's Mid Boots in Blue, Keen NEWPORT men's Sandals in Brown, Ted Baker CASSIUSS men's Casual Shoes in BrownNew Balance 770 Sneaker Suede,BatzShop Batz TERKA - black - EU 36 (UK 3 - 3½),Nike Skate Boarding Trainerendor - Bruin,Portwest Steelite All Weather Hiker Boot S3 Black / Size 10, Regard ROAXOU women's Casual Shoes in White, Ravel JUNO women's Shoes (Pumps / Ballerinas) in Beige, United nude JACKY BOOTIE women's Low Ankle Boots in Black,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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Saucony Zwart Grid 8000 CL - Zwart Saucony 625d75

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