US vs. Russia: Who's Won Summits Past?

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 5:41 AM CDT
Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev synchronize their watches.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As Barack Obama arrives in Moscow for his toughest diplomatic challenge since taking office, the Guardian looks back on earlier US-Russia showdowns to gauge who had the upper hand.

  • Kennedy vs. Khrushchev, 1961: The ultimate cold war summit, shadowed by the space race and the Berlin Wall. A draw, although JFK might have come out slightly ahead.

  • Brezhnev vs. Nixon, 1972: Nuclear weapons took center stage, but the two had a good rapport. A narrow win for Nixon, who successfully rejiggered America's nuke strategy.
  • Reagan vs. Gorbachev, 1987: Perhaps the most famous US-Russia summit, and a major triumph for Reagan. Within a few years the so-called "evil empire" had fallen.
  • Bush vs. Putin, 2001: The president said he found Pooty-Poot charming, while the Russian spun his brutal war in Chechnya as legitimate. Putin cleaned Dubya's clock.
For other face-offs click the link below.