18.07.17 Helsinki Summit

July 17, 2018

Historic Helsinki Summit

What’s At Stake?

With so much focus on the words of the American & Russian presidents, here’s a look at the actions of the 2 nations.

Why It Matters

U.S. Policy Vs. Russia

  • concluded Russia meddled in 2016 election & sanctioned Russia in 2017 & 2018 for intent to undermine U.S. democracy.
  • closed some Russian embassies after Kremlin attempted murder of frmr. spy in England.
  • supplied Ukraine with weapons to help defend against Russia.
  • U.S. forces killed hundreds of Russian fighting w/Assad in Syria.

Russia: What’s At Stake:

  • global security: Russia has largest arsenal of nukes.
  • Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, increasing worry it will threaten borders in E. Europe.
  • Russia backs Syrian Pres. Assad in Syrian (attacks civilians).
  • Russia & Pres. Putin accused of human rightsA abuses (i.e. no free speech, no protests & murder).

Major Takeaways: Summit

Pres. Trump declined to denounce Russia for 2016 election meddling saying “I don’t see any reason why” Russia would interfere andA “Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Pres. Putin confirmed he wanted Trump to win election “because he talked about bringing the U.S. Russia relationship back to normal.

How does the U.S. gov’t define Russian “meddling”? It’s a blanket term often referring to online “mischief” – hacking, spreading misinformation, and beyond. There’s no evidence of changing votes or impacting election results – but still illegal.

“Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party and released tens of thousands of private communications in a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, according to an indictment announced days before President Donald Trump”s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment represents special counsel Robert Mueller”s first charges against Russian government officials for interfering in American politics, an effort U.S. intelligence agencies say was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The case follows a separate indictment that accused Russians of using social media to sow discord among American voters.


Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort, that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers or that any vote tallies were altered by hacking.”

by Jenna Lee,