Helsinki will host the Trump-Putin summit next week — here’s how the remote city became a major player in the drama between Russia and the West

STOCKHOLM/HELSINKI (Reuters) – For a city of just 600,000 people on the northeast periphery of Europe, Helsinki has played an outsized role in the fraught relationship between its giant neighbor Russia and the West.

Throughout the 1945-1990 Cold War, neutral Finland navigated a precarious but pragmatic course between East and West, finding middle ground that made the capital Helsinki a hotspot for superpower talks between the Soviet Union and United States.

The Soviet Union’s 1991 break-up and Finland’s 1995 entry into the European Union ushered Helsinki fully into the Western orbit. (Read more…)