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Helsinki summit a chance for Trump to press Putin on non-interference

Trump and Putin facing each other in conversation
President Trump and President Putin at the APEC leaders' summit in Danang, Vietnam, on November 11, 2017. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP/Getty Images

When President Trump meets President Putin next week in Helsinki, talk may turn to their shared belief in state sovereignty and hard borders. Putin’s approach to sovereignty is, of course, hypocritical — used selectively to justify aggression abroad while providing an excuse for oppression at home.

What's next: Trump should take Putin’s high talk of sovereignty and borders at face value and use it to his advantage. After all, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continued occupation of Crimea and the Donbas remains the greatest infringement of a sovereign state’s rights since the Cold War. If ensuring a state’s ability to protect its borders is a leader’s highest calling, as both presidents claim to believe, it would seem Ukraine should enjoy those rights too.