the globe is a huge place. There were a lot of areas where russia can do something in a meaningful way. Without making a public announcement in such a way that the american leadership know who had done it. This is one of those instances where the Russians could try to war. I think on the former assistant secretary of state for arms control. I wanted to ask more about the issue of sanctions in russia. They were first imposed relative to the events in ukraine and remain in effect today. First of all, it has been kind of interesting to me, as an observer, how the political dynamic is changed. A year or two ago the european union was going to the semiannual exercise of renewing ancient and anytime they were up for renewal, it was about the italians going soft, the french having second thoughts, the germans backing down. The secretary of state would go over there, undertake diplomatic campaigns to get the europeans greater back down. Since trump has taken office, it's completely reversed. Angela merkel, theresa may, trying to give the u.s. back on. It's just been interesting to watch, there is obviously some bluffing going on on one or both sides of this issue. The comment was made that the state of russian positions on sanctions is not open for negotiation. If we want to recognize the mistake, don't accept our surrender on the issue. I'm wondering -- that position makes sense, as the russians generally think of the u.s. is going to retreat on sanctions. The russians may have believed but it's hard to imagine that they continue to believe it today. They are not paying close attention to u.s. politics if they do. They want to take away the president's authority to unilaterally lift sanctions. I think if that came to a vote it would probably pass by majority. President trump's flexibility to give that away is very limited, if nonexistent
at this point. I guess my question is -- to what extent are the russians really troubled about the continuation of sanctions? To what extent do they really want to get rid of these? And does it remain a problem for them? What do you think the real bottom line is? Are they prepared on ukraine? Are they decided about the benefits that they have gotten? The first thing i would say is i don't think the impact of the sanctions in the short term is so onerous that it really compels the russian government to to look for ways to try to get out from under -- government to look for ways to try to get out from under the sanctions.