Another Look Into Putin's Soul featuring Andrei Piontkovsky with comments by Anders Aslund, Carl Gershman, David Satter, and Richard Weitz.
Hudson Institute visiting fellow Andrei Piontkovsky looks at Vladimir Putin's domestic and foreign policy since 2001 and President Putin's changing relationship with the Bush administration during that same period. He also talks about the upcoming G-8 summit in Russia and Putin's stance toward Iran and North Korea. Commenting on his book are: Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; and David Satter, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The discussion is moderated by Hudson Institute senior fellow Richard Weitz.
Andrei Piontkovsky is Executive Director of the Strategic Studies Center located in Moscow. He writes regularly for the Novaya Gazyeta and the Moscow Times. He has written several books on Vladimir Putin.
Anders Aslund has been a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute since 2006. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He examines the economies of Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe, as well as focuses on the broader implications of economic transition. He worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1994 to 2005, first as a senior associate and then from 2003 as director of the Russian and Eurasian Program.
He also worked at the Brookings Institution and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University.
Aslund served as an economic adviser to the governments of Russia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. He was a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and the founding director of the Stockholm Institute of East European Economics. He worked as a Swedish diplomat in Kuwait, Poland, Geneva, and Moscow. He is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and an honorary professor of the Kyrgyz National University. He is co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Kyiv School of Economics and chairman of the Advisory Council of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE), Warsaw.
He is the author of eight books, including Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed (2007), How Capitalism Was Built: The Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Building Capitalism: The Transformation of the Former Soviet Bloc (Cambridge University Press, 2001), How Russia Became a Market Economy (Brookings, 1995), Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform, 2d ed. (Cornell University Press, 1991), and Private Enterprise in Eastern Europe (Macmillan, 1985). He is also editor or coeditor of 13 books, including Challenges of Globalization: Macroeconomic Imbalances and Development Models, Europe after Enlargement, and Revolution in Orange (Carnegie Endowment, 2006).
Andrei A Piontkovsky
Andrei Piontkovsky is Executive Director of the Strategic Studies Center located in Moscow. He writes regularly for the Novaya Gazyeta and the Moscow Times. He has written several books on Vladimir Putin.
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.
Associate Director, Hudson Institute, Center for Future Security Strategies.
Piontkovsky seems to be torn between his fascination with and antagonism with Putin and his policies. Putin's recent policy changes with election procedures, media and internet censorship, and altering press freedoms seem to parallel America's recent attempted changes. When Bush said he got a "look into Putin's soul," was he looking into a mirror?
Andrei Piontkovsky writes about the former KGB agents domestic and foreign policiessince 2001 in his new book "Another Look into Putin's Soul". He spoke about it at theHudson Institute in Washington D.C., where he is a visiting fellow. This is an hour forty minutes.Ok, lets begin please. One administrative note: please silence any communication devicesthat you might have. I want to welcome the panelists and the audience, thank you verymuch for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this presentation. I want to alsoespecially welcome the CSPAN audience and other viewers on television. AndreiPiontkovsky will speak first and I will introduce the other panelists as they make theirpresentations. Andrei is currently a senior visiting fellow at Hudson from 1994 to 2005 heserves as director of the Center for Strategic Research in Moscow based think tank. Hehas written several books and many articles for publication. Andrei has a new bookentitled "Another Look into Putin's Soul" and we have signed copies available for saleoutside. Andrei will also stay afterwards to discuss his presentation as well as meet withmedia. Just as a reminder the G8 summit in St. Petersburg will begin in less that twoweeks. Perhaps the most important relationship among the G8 leaders is that betweenPresident George Bush and Vladimir Putin. When they first met in Slovinia in 2001,Bush famously said, "I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to hiscountry and the best interest in his country." Since then, Russia has taken a number ofactions that have evoked criticism by administration officials, those include curbing pressfreedom, changing the electoral procedures and ways that have harmed opposition partiesand a new law that adheres to weaken the role of NGO's operating in Russia. Yet the twocountries still cooperate heavily on counter terrorism, regional security issues and theyjust recently, a few days ago, renewed the Cooperative Threat Protection Program.Certain key questions naturally arise for Andrei and the other panelists. Did Bush readPutin's soul at the time? Has Putin's soul changed since their first meeting? Andrei,Putin's soul,does he have one?Every human being has a soul. Thank you Richard and you know that Richard is a verytough administrator and he want all questions, we have very limited space of time, so Ihope very much on active questioning to have additional time, but I want to spend at leastthirty seconds of my time to express my gratitude to Hudson Institute colleagueadministration, first of all to Ken (unidentified), all wonderful pr, vice president(unidentified) and to my old friend David (unidentified) for enormous help, withoutwhich, this event would not happen. This book is a kind of a political diary. It containsmy text article assess from 1999 until the latests entry is dated this June, about politicaldevelopment in Russia. And you find that, I find my, lets put it, moderately skepticalattitude to the candidate to the president and acting presidents and President Putinfrom the very beginning and really dated , is my assessment. I disagree with two widespreadperception about Putin and in comparison to his predecessor. One apologetic and onedenouncing. The apologetic view widely presented now by government officialpropaganda that Putin had been fighting with oligarch system, or anarchy of period herestore as the servant of state, restore order is the contrary. Its very strange (unidentified),because what's, may I remind you, Putin was appointed to be President of the country by thethe same people who he's supposed to fight. One of the most repulsive figures of this year(unidentified), the boy is (unidentified) actually was a driving force of all this operationsuccessor. Yeltsin was by almost emanate coming power president (unidentified), business,political, Primakov, which a lot of unpleasant thing and they, the task before there wasfamiliar, almost mission impossible, to make an absolutely unknown figure, not onlypresident of the country, but as a kind of national hero and I write about this. The manof Putin campaigning in 1990 certainly was Chechnyan war. Kremlin corrective, Karl Rove,invented a slogan for him to wipe out terrorists in the house and thishe wages his campaign and became president. And now we see, consequences. Whathappened is not elimination of system of criminal capitalism of Russia, just eliminationof figures of Yeltsin period and substituting them with new cronies and new oligarchs ofPutin (unidentified) entourage. It was this direction of event was clear to me enough whenfor example I wrote an article on January 20, 2000 Putinism during Putin's first electioncampaign. Putinism is a highest and final stage of criminal capitalism in Russia. Noliberal paper, by the way, published this assert, because I should add that part of liberalintelligence in Russia, this enormous responsibility for the Putin coming to power andestablishing codes of regime. They have been dreaming for along time about RussianPinochet, who would pay, who would lead Russia on the way of economic reform by ironhand. Well, they got the President with natural for a person of his background, disregardfor democratic institution, but no real liberal reform and modernization. If in first term ofhis president, some liberal minister managed to introduce some reasonable (unidentified)we'll talk about it in more details like (unidentified), now its absolutely clear thatmodernization proved to be banal, straightforward, redistribution of wealth in thefavor of new, new persons of power and this, the essence of oligarchy systems, this incestuousmerger, union of money and power, business and power, of states and this broke, Russianbreakthrough into post-industrial society. Our today meeting is on the eve of G8 summitand I would like to maybe share our discussion making some remark on Russian foreignpolicy of Putin. Well, my main, my main message is that Putin is not, Putin is just logicalcontinuation of Yeltsin regime both in, in a you know its negative characteristic of thatregime. The people who, another misconception the people, many people denounce Putinas person who well strangulated a flourishing democracy in Russia, its not the case. Thefirst exercises of so called damaged democracy where Yeltsin election in '96 and as Ialready mentioned the Putin ascension of power is also, was anything but a drive fordemocracy. The same, I see the same continuation of foreign policy also, not only Yeltsinperiod, but well I would say several hundreds of Russian history, because Russianrelationship with the west of several hundred years is cyclic periods of (unidentified) anddisengagement of attraction and repulsion. We saw two such periods Yeltsin term andforeign minister Primakov, and in Putin term we saw the same cyclic, cyclic change.Putin who on September 11 said to Americans we are with you. And this statement wassupported by I think his very wise policy in Afghan conflict. I have nothing personalabout this guy. In 2002, 2001-2003 I actively supported his foreign policy because hisforeign policy outed the national interest of Russia, supporting the Americans he led themto solve very serious security Russian problem to liquidate the strong hold of Islamicextremist, radicals on southern border of Russia. Maybe for the first time in Russianmilitary history, somebody did for us a dirty job. American did it not as charity forRussia, it was just clearly a case of coincidence of our security and strategic interest. Ithink nothing has changed with this fundamental fact. I think that we face basically thesame challenge and we need each other maybe more than anytime before. But, today'sPutin describes a difference. He's doing his best to push out American bases from centralAsia, for what purpose? Well, what is NATO, NATO is trying to hold in Afghanistanagainst resurgent of Taliban. If the coalition in Afghanistan suffers defeat andthe nation is very shaky and fragile, we are torn in the situation. On 2001, same Taliban whenby the way, before September 11, we, our general staff planned military operation in thecentral Asia, bombardment of Taliban, well fortunately this problem was solved for us byAmericans. Well, i have very few time, but I have several points why this change. Well,why this changed in general. Well, should we just be philosophical about this shift inforeign policy in Russian relationship with, because as I already mentioned, well historiancount in twenty five or twenty six such cycle of such disengagement. I think its dangerousbecause never before west and Russia as apart of the West, because um for such seriouscivilizational challenges and threats to its security. In 19th and 20th centuries, west andRussia was a dominant, sole dominant forces on the war to (unidentified) and now thereare more vulnerable and more weak than ever before and they need each other as acounter point. And another reason that unfortunately the combination of factorswhich provoke this new (unidentified) in Russian relations have a tendency, have a tendency tocontinue for the foreseeable future. First of all, certainly, its a deep psychologicalcomplex have suffered by Russian political elite as a result of defeat of the Cold Waralso from empire, state of super power, it provokes a serious, underlying animosity to thewest and by the way this decision of Putin in September 11 was taken against theresistance in (unidentified) sometime expressed of majority of Russian political class andhis entourage. The second reason, the second term Putin's second term make very clear,very clear the character of internal economic and political regime and this regime needsnow (unidentified) as an enemy as maybe a sole justification of our entire system becausepopular justification of some another of tyranism in Russian political system during firstterm of Putin was, well, its necessary for modernization of economy, we should wellimplement liberal reform and so on. Now, well nobody believes a thing and that's whypropaganda extremely actively intoxicates public opinion of an idea of America's enemyand Putin himself contributed to this (unidentified). First of all by his fantastic statementsafter (unidentified) that Islamic terrorists they adjusted to in the hands of more dangerous,more powerful and more traditional enemies of Russia. The third reason is that Russianpolitical leadership and (unidentified), generally is intoxicated now by exorbitant oilprices but new sense of assertiveness. If you read to Russian, media now in Russia is(unidentified) as a key vote. But unfortunately this new assertiveness is understood andrealized in Moscow not as defending, pursing general Russian security interest, but as inthe case of central Asia, just in doubting the classical, (unidentified) this United States.And the worst, but maybe not the least reason for such development is this sort ofmistakes, blunders, failures of the west during the latest three years created impressionamong part, even (unidentified) impression among part of Russian political leads sinkingship and its necessary, maybe to abandon this ship as soon as possible. Perception foundby (unidentified) in some consensual statements of Russian foreign ministers(unidentified) if Putin said in September 11, Americans we are with you, (unidentified)was right in his conception--- Russian global policy in Moscow. Americans we are notwith you , we are against you, his famous formula is that Russia can take sides in theunleashed conflict of civilization its a new definition of what was perceived in Russian-American official documents in early as common struggle against international terrorism.This formula ironically reminds, its classically to make on a famous Stalin foreignminister formula in 1939 that Soviet Union can't take sides in the war unleashed by angryFrench imperialists. This reflected in many practical actions, implicating suchgentlemen as (unidentified), (unidentified) and protecting them in security council.Well, the problem, the problem is that in spite of this attempt to disassociate itself from the west,the enemies of the west, these enemies of Islamic fascists, Russia is apart of this satanicwest and (unidentified) its the most vulnerable part and more attractive for the advanceand the tragic deaths of Russian diplomats in several days after tragic deaths of Americansoldiers in the Middle East remind us about this, remind us again how for both UnitedStates and for both, and for Russia, how important for us this to keep, to guess in thisvery dangerous 21st century and well I hope very much that on the coming G8 meetingBush will maybe another look into Putin's soul and they try to talk frankly about thisproblem. Because what is going until now, its pretending until recently, Americanspretending about everything fine, well a couple of months ago Secretary of State MadamRice stated that American-Russian relationship is as good as a never been so for latestforty years. Well let me say as insider who remembers Soviet times, they have never beenso bad. Because in the Soviet time, there were no, I think the last twenty years of Soviet-American confrontation was a kind of, was perceived by Russian leadership as a kind ofcontinuum of managing the world and perception was so well, we as a (unidentified) andit was (unidentified) confrontation, but mutual respect. There were no such immersionhostility generated by this complex which I mentioned, by this strange mixture ofinferiority complex and megalomania complex. Well, I realize that it was very shortcertainly, and ready to, to tell about American responsibility for this well this(unidentified) as a Russian writer and Russian active politician, I am a member ofleadership of a position, but I'm more concentrated certainly on courtesies of Moscow and(unidentified) but my main message that we just can't (unidentified).Our next speaker with be Carl Gershman who is president for the National Endowmentfor Democracy. This is a private congressionally supported grant making institution, itsmission is to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. It also publishes thewell know quarterly journal Democracy. Carl also took the lead in launching in NewDelhi in 1999 the world movement for democracy which is a global network ofdemocracy practitioners and scholars. Prior to assuming his position with the endowment,he was senior councilor to the U.S. representatives of the United Nations, like our otherspeakers, Carl's has an extensive list of publications. Thank you.Thank you and thank you especially to Andrei. I just got the book over the weekend. Buthad a little time and was able to read it and I think its terrific, but not so much because hetells us a lot about Putin, but because Andrei is a Russian patriot who is able to discussthe whole issue of Russia and its relationship with the world in a large way. And I think itreturns us, it takes us away from the day to day issues, although they're there of course,but he's just been discussing and brings us back to the fundamentals, the fundamentals ofRussia's relationship with the West, the psychological issues he was just talking about atthe end, the megalomania, the inferiority, and explains to us why this relationship is socomplex, the role of the political technologists, which appears in the book, which areplaying such an insidious, insidious role, today. The whole question of Russia's relationswith its neighbors, its desire to reestablish the empire, its hopeless desire as he point outto reestablish the empire. In particular, the book deals extensively, more extensively thananything else I've read in some time with the whole issue of Chechnya. Chechnya is anissue that is off the table for pretty much everybody and I think what Andrei makes clearin this book is that Chechnya is not an issue that can be swept off the table, its not aninternal problem, its not a marginal question, its a central question which we have to dealwith and should be raised within the international arenas, not just with a resolution hereand there, of the parliamentary assembly of the council of Europe or some other place,but at the G8. I mean these things need to be talked about because they're absolutelycentral and related to the other very fundamental and large question that Andrei raises inthe book which is the relationship of Russia and Islam. Just very briefly. I think that whatemerges from the book is a certain program of action. I want to refer to two items andthen a third which is not clear enough in the book and I sort of want to challenge Andreito speak a little bit more about it. The first, I've already said is the whole question ofChechnya. In one point of the book, Andrei writes that Putin actually got it right insomething that he said about Chechnya. He said in 2000 he observed in the final analysis,the formal status of Chechnya is not all that important to us. What is important is that nothreat should rise to Russia from this territory. And I think as he makes perfectly clear,the way Russia has dealt with this issue, it has dealt with it so that precisely a threat willemerge from the Jihadists to Russia from Russian soil which is Chechnya. And not to do ashe speaks about in a passage just before that, he says,"the only move open to us is to drive a wedge between Chechnyanseparatism and international terrorism". In other words, instead of making (unidentified)the enemy and (unidentified) the enemy, and murdering the enemies, to try to find allieswithin the Chechnyan people to try to deal with this status issue in a constructive way andto try to make, come in cause with them against the international Jihadists whose aim isto destroy Chechnya just as it is the aim of some Russians. I think its a very constructiveapproach which he offers in the book and I think its something which the United Stateshas to take very, very seriously and cease simply ignoring this fundamental question. Thesecond point, which I think he calls for in the book , which I think is much more on theU.S. agenda, is the importance of protecting the new status and independence andintegrity of Ukrainian democracy. I would answer that just one more point, that its alsoimportant to protect the new status and integrity and independence of Georgiandemocracy today. (Unidentified) will be meeting with President Bush and he is a strongleader, I think he deeply wants and needs U.S. support. I think if these two countries canpreserve their status, Russia is going to try to do what it can to try to undermine thatstatus, but if this can be preserved, I think it's the beginning of a new relationship withRussian democracy. It will show models of countries that once were part of the SovietUnion, which are achieving successful democracy and integration with the west and thatshould be promoted looking toward the future when Russia itself will be a full democracyand integrated with the west, whereas Andrei says over and over again in the book, whichis where it rightly belongs. And finally, the point which I don't think Andrei deals withsufficiently in the book and I want to challenge him to deal with more, is the whole issueof civil society and the struggle that's taking place in Russia today to destroy theindependence of the NGO's. Its been mentioned that on the 15th of July the G8 summitwill open. Next Tuesday, July 11th, there will be a meeting in Russia called "The OtherRussia" of NGO leaders and political opposition leaders. Just today, July 5th,independent human rights organizations met and issued an appeal to the G8 leaders todeal with all of the issues of the kinds of issues and problems that Andrei is talking aboutin the book including Chechnya. I think their voice needs to be listened to, everyoneknows about the new NGO law which Russia approved of in January. I think the civilsociety people feel that the full impact of this law will be felt after the Summit, startingJuly 18th after the pressure of the Summit is lifted. Signals have to be sent, I think, duringthe Summit, that this issue is going to be watched very, very closely. Andrei has writtenin a paper which he prepared for this meeting, but which he didn't note, made a pointwhich I agree with where he said, "democracy in Russia is primarily a matter forRussians." I agree with that completely, but Russia and Russian independentorganizations and democrats need support from the west and they deserve support fromthe west and that support is (unidentified), and we should not permit the Russiangovernment, Putin, his political technologists, to de-legitimize that support by saying thatsomehow this is deference in the internal affairs of Russia. Putin just said to the press thatthe Council of Europe just reviewed the NGO law and approved the NGO law, they neverdid. They found many problems with this law and I think that we should use the fact,among other things, that the ruble has just been made convertible, that obviously Russiais interested in economic growth and economic integration with the internationaleconomy. We should use the leverage that derives from that as well as our politicalinfluence to try and protect civil society. All the other sectors of Russian life, the media,the judiciary, the provincial governments, the political party system, and so forth, theintegrity and the independence of these sectors has pretty much been ended. Civil societyis the last remaining stronghold of independent activity and I think its critical that wework together with the democrats in Russia to preserve that and to build upon that in the future. Thanks.Thank you very much. Andrei will respond to all the panelists at the end. The nextspeaker is Andres Aslan, who is an expert in post-communist economic transformation.He is currently a senior fellow at the Institute for International economics. From 1994 to2005, he worked at the Carnegie endowment for International Peace, both of these areWashington DC think tanks, and at one point at Carnegie, he ran their Russian andEurasia program. Andres has also served as the Senior economic advisor for thegovernments of Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and he has many publications to his credit.First of all, I would like to congratulate Andrei on an excellent book, this is a very goodread, so read it fast through and you feel like you have a good sense of what the situationis in Russia today. And I think that its (unidentified). I think there is one sentence in thebook that sort of captures most of it: "Over the last one hundred years Russian history hasgone full circle and we are back where we started." And frankly, I don't think that's true,I think its much better than the Soviet system and after all the Czarist system didn't last so longif we go back one hundred years or so. (Unidentified) is a system that could develop,so I see a certain hope in that sentence. And another fundamental insight in the book,(unidentified) is pretty much a criminal, economic organization that is running the state.And if we look up on the six Putin years today there can be no doubt, and I congratulateAndrei on having been very clear on it early on, that the main Putin project was to buildauthoritarianism in Russia, And he has been very systematic and very successful in thistask. Indeed freedom has a rank sexist here quite extraordinarily. Russia is the onlycountry that has managed to move from partially free to unfree in the last six years. Sothis has been systematic. We have a task where Putin has been very successful so far, hasbeen economic growth. Russia has had an average growth of 6.7% properly measured, noproblem with the measure here, during the last seven years. There are countries that havedone even better, but this is a quite a outstanding and the danger today is that you putthese two observations together and say that its better that we have authoritarianism foreconomic growth. WE have a danger of the new authoritarian myth, that I think is veryimportant to fight. And I would argue that there are essentially two reasons for thissplendid economic growth that we have seen. One is a critical mass of liberalization,stabilization and privatization that came into fruition ironically with Russian financialcrash of '98, that sort of cleared put the system. In hind sight we can say that this was thecatharsis that Russian capitalism needed. And we can particularly see this as industrialmetalogy that everyone (unidentified) splendidly over that matter in the previously, sohopeless coal industry. And all these have revived splendidly under private ownership.Putin didn't play a role there, he was just a beneficiary of a prior developments. And weare the point cause of course of high oil prices. Currently Russian economic growth isdriven by the consumer sectors. Retail trade and housing construction, which is good, butits thank to massive oil surplus. During Putin's three years, he did undertake a lot ofeconomic reforms. So if you look up on the economic side of Putin, which Andrei doesnot discuss that much in his book, the turning point is 2003 and I would of courseemphasis the rest of (unidentified), the chairman of (unidentified) on the twenty fifth ofOctober 2003. Because of that very event. Putin had to abandon his tax reform, becausehe had decided to tax (unidentified) to death, which he successfully did. And the other(unidentified) to do away with were judiciary reform which he equally successfully did.So what we are seeing here is a quiet person who doesn't say what he is intent on doingand he does it very systematically and we can only judge afterwards what he has actuallydone. Do you remember all these things that Putin said about democracy? Andrei sensiblynever believed them, but there are lots of such statements and we can only see afterwardsthat this was a (unidentified). So what is a fair sense of the regime today? I wouldcompletely agree with Andrei, its a seizure of assets. What has happened over the lastyear, is that five percent of Russia's GDP has been renationalized. This is one of thebiggest renationalizations that we have seen in post-Socialist times. And at the same time,we are seeing a reinforcement of the authoritarianists and the third feature that isbecoming more clearly that Andrei discusses very well in the last third of his book, it isthat the authoritarianist is enhancing the foreign policy of Russia in a negative fashion.And by the way what about corruption? Corruption has been increasing after 2004 inRussia. Before that it was declining according to Transparency International. And now, inthe last measurement, for the first time Transparency International shows that Russia ismore corrupt that Ukraine and here you see the effect of democracy on transparency andthe wonderful scandal in the media, they do infringe corruption so that its being reduced.And what about the US role in this state of affairs? Richard sited that President Bushmost famous statement about President Putin at the first meeting. But I would like to turnto his statement at Camp David on the 27th of September 2003, three months after the(unidentified) affair had started. And I quote, this is in the prepared statement by thePresident, "I respect President Putin's vision for Russia. It can't be at peace within itsborders, with its neighbors and with the world. A country inwhich democracy andfreedom and rule of law thrive." And four weeks afterwards President Putin arrested(unidentified), obviously having understood that President Bush would in no way protestagainst such an event. So we can't say that the US didn't have an opportunity to influence,we can clearly say that the US did not influence events in any positive way. So, whatshould US president do in this situation? Well, the first and most obvious thing is that heshould not praise him for what he's not doing. And that words should be truthful. Andturning onto the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, I would argue that the three most importantUS interests in regard to Russia, concern democracy in the whole region, the sov,secondly the sovereignty of the other former republics and thirdly energy security. And onthe first two points, the important thing is to make public statements that are clearenough. I think the worst that could happen to President Bush is if President Putinafterwards enacts a (unidentified) which he has threatened publicly this year to do and ifthere is not a clear US statement on record that this would be absolutely intolerable. Thepositive part of the agenda is energy security. And I think that there are essentially twobig issues that could and should be accomplished. One is the huge stockman gas field inthe Arctic sea, that could and should produce energy for delivery to the US. This wouldbe a big positive connection between Russia and the US and we the other is access to theRussian gas pipeline system for Europe. Probably that could not be agreed directly, but abig step in that direction could be made, thats primarily for the Europeans. So all togetherthis is not much and if you can't accomplish much anyhow, why not at least make surethat you stand up and make a truthful statement in particular when you have suchstatements that you should eat up from before. More broadly, what should the west dowith Russia. I very much agree with Carl Gershman's line here, we should work for