It is worth noting the dense calendar of meetings involving some of the leading heads of state in the world over the coming two months.
On Sept. 2-3, the East Economic Forum will take place in Vladivostok, Russia, hosted by Putin. Both Japanese Prime Minister Abe and South Korean President Park will be attending, with large delegations.
Sept. 4-5 is the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China, where many bilateral meetings will be taking place on the sidelines. The BRICS heads of state will be also meeting on the sidelines, and President Obama will meet President Xi Jinping there as well.
Sept. 6-8 is the East Asia Summit, which involves heads of state from 18 nations, including all of ASEAN, the US, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.
Sept. 13 is the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where heads of state and/or foreign ministers from everywhere will be in attendance, over the course of the next several weeks.
Oct. 15-16 is the BRICS heads of state summit in the State of Goa in India.
While these summit gatherings can sometimes be perfunctory and ceremonial, I believe that this year is anything but “normal” and so we can expect some significant developments. The Vladivostok meeting has, for example, emerged as a large and growing event, focusing on economic cooperation among Asian and Eurasian states. Putin invited Abe to attend, and it is expected that during their meeting in Vladivostok, Abe will announce the dates that Putin will be coming to Japan before the end of the year.