Presidents Trump and Putin appear set to hold a summit meeting in July.


  1. The meeting might open a path toward stabilizing the relationship, which under the circumstances, would be an important accomplishment in itself.
  2. Disagreements between Moscow and Washington are extensive, and the two presidents will not find common ground on many issues. The point of meeting is not for them to overlook these differences or to strike a grand bargain. Rather, it should be to send a clear message and create the space necessary for the two governments to restart a cooperative engagement that is in the clear interest of both sides.
  3. There is no substitute for personal contacts between the leaders of the two countries.
  4. Any improvement in U.S.-Russia relations will come slowly, from small steps and confidence-building measures.


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