The Janus-esque Russia policy of US President Donald J. Trump’s administration has been thrust back into the forefront with the president’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. 

On one hand, the Trump administration has been tougher on Russia than it is sometimes given credit for: it has levied several rounds of increasingly severe sanctions, culminating in the April 6 decision to designate, among others, Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg, sending shockwaves through global markets. Those actions were taken with warnings from senior administration officials that further destabilizing activities would be met with additional sanctions—a welcome intent to use sanctions as a deterrent. 

On the other hand, is the president.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reelection on June 24 ensures that “he will be master president at least until 2024, if not longer,” according to Aaron Stein, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

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US President Donald J. Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will hold their first summit in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, the White House announced on June 28.

The meeting will come days after the NATO Summit in Brussels and Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom. US National Security Advisor John Bolton has said that Russia’s alleged interference in 2016 US presidential election will be on the agenda. A Russian foreign ministry spokesman stated that the meeting would focus on Syria, Ukraine, and international terrorism.

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The trade war being waged by US President Donald J. Trump’s administration is one of the major risks to global growth outcomes for this year and next. Markets have been busy digesting a steady flow of trade-related news, such as possible investment restrictions on Chinese firms wanting to do business in the United States and the announcement by Harley-Davidson that it plans to shift some production overseas to avoid European Union (EU) tariffs that come in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs. Tariffs and counter-tariff measures over time result only in losses and trade wars cannot be “won” in any meaningful economic sense.

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The new international race towards innovation is critical, because “a cluster of new technologies, namely AI, robotics, green energy, biotechnology, and others will do more than just transform science - they will also determine how we all live and function in the not so far off future,” according to Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe.

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United States Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) implored policymakers to take the steps necessary to protect and grow the United States’ global leadership in innovation during a keynote speech at the Atlantic Council on June 26.

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Seventy years ago this week, the Soviet Union blockaded access to West Berlin in an effort to score an early win in the first major crisis of the Cold War. What the Kremlin hadn’t expected was an unbending United States, which, with its UK allies, launched the Berlin Airlift, or “Operation Vittles.”

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Former US Secretary of State Among Four Recipients of Atlantic Council’s Freedom Award


Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in accepting the Atlantic Council’s 2018 Freedom Award, urged Americans and Europeans alike not to allow “peddlers of hate,” on both sides of the Atlantic, “to hijack the institutions that ensure our freedom and define our democracies.”

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Alina Dieste, Tomás González, and Juan Carlos López all hailed the election of Iván Duque as the next President of Colombia as a historic success for Colombian democracy. Duque, of the right-leaning Democratic Center party, beat left-leaning candidate Gustavo Petro, fifty-four percent to forty-two percent. The June 17th election was the second round of the contest, after no candidate reached the fifty percent threshold during the first round on May 25th.

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United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis passionately defended the necessity of international partnership in a June 15th speech at the commencement ceremony of the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

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