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Leaders in Moscow and especially Washington may want to study this exemplar of Russian-American cooperation under pressure.

The sad reality is this extremely crucial bilateral relationship is in dire straits—even worse than many likely imagined. As the current U.S. president is excoriated on a daily basis for being “pro-Russian,” the chances of great-power conflict in either Syria or Ukraine have escalated precipitously. When, in February 2018, a group of U.S. special forces killed a large number of Russian mercenaries in Syria, Moscow warned Washington starkly “not to play with fire.” A couple of months later, U.S.-built Javelin anti-tank missiles arrived in the volatile Ukraine situation. The Obama administration had steadfastly refused to give Kiev such lethal aid, knowing that escalation of the conflict would benefit no one, least of all Ukrainians.

Yet, Trump’s myriad hawkish advisors have prevailed and thwarted the president’s attempts to improve relations with the Kremlin. If…

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