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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Insight on Russia-Ukraine Tensions

In recent weeks, Russia has assembled tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine, leading to a phone call on December 7, 2021, between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences should Russia attack Ukraine. On this episode of the Breaking Boundaries podcast, two former U.S. ambassadors weigh in on the historic and geopolitical dynamics behind current tensions.


Steven Pifer: William J. Perry Research Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University; former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council.

Ian Kelly: Ambassador in Residence at Northwestern University, former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, State Department spokesperson, and director of the Office of Russian Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Steven Pifer

We need to be signaling the Russians that that's not acceptable behavior (to attack Ukraine) because if Moscow comes to believe they can get away with that, do they miscalculate and try it against, for example, a Baltic state where we do have a security guarantee, where we are under NATO committed to come to their defense?”

-- Steven Pifer

(Russia) hasn’t been able to draw Ukraine in by the power of attraction. So, what they're using is coercion. This is something I think that should concern everybody. This idea that a greater power can use the threat of force to try and dictate the policy of a sovereign state. The big gap, I think between Moscow and the rest of the world, is that many in Moscow, including Mr. Putin himself, doesn't see Ukraine as a sovereign state.”

-- Ian Kelly
Ian Kelly

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Read the transcript of this show below

Annelise Riles [00:00:03] Welcome to the Breaking Boundaries podcast. I met Annelise Riles Rales, executive director of Northwestern University's Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. The Northwestern Buffett Institute is dedicated to breaking through traditional silos of expertise geography, culture and language to surface novel solutions to pressing global challenges. Currently in our podcast series, we're focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 16, which is peace, justice and strong institutions. And today we're talking about U.S. Russia relations specifically around mounting concerns about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. And here, to discuss what's happening now in and around Ukraine are two former U.S. ambassadors with deep, firsthand knowledge of U.S. Russia relations. My first guest is Steven Pifer, William J. Parry, research fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Previously, Steven was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Special Assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council. Later in the show, I'll be speaking with Ian Kelly, ambassador in residence at Northwestern University. Previously, Ian served as U.S. ambassador to Georgia, ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. State Department spokesperson and director of the Office of Russian Affairs in Washington, D.C. So first, Steven, welcome and thank you for being here. 

Steven Pifer [00:01:49] Thank you for having me. 

Annelise Riles [00:01:50] So in the aftermath of the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, there seems to be a newly narrow definition of U.S. strategic interests and one which the administration believes aligns with the general worldview of most Americans. When Russia annexed Crimea, there was considerable consternation in elite policy circles, but maybe less concern or even awareness among many ordinary folks. So, Steven, why should Americans care about this potential conflict? 

Steven Pifer [00:02:23] Well, let me give a couple of reasons why. I mean, I think it boils down to why we should care about Ukraine. And one reason for caring about Ukraine is a stable Ukraine is good for a stable and secure Europe, and that's been a U.S. interest going back to the end of the World War Two. A second concern, I would say, actually goes back to the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Ukraine had on its territory the world's third largest nuclear arsenal. About 2000 strategic nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles and bombers that were designed, built and deployed to strike the United States and Ukraine gave those weapons up. But a part of that was the Budapest memorandum on security assurances in which the United States, Russia and Britain committed to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and also committed not to use, force or threaten to use force. Now, of course, the United States has done none of those things, but since 2014, the Russians have done all of those things violated all of those commitments. And when negotiating the language of the Ukrainians back in the 1990s, we said, Look, it's the memorandum on security assurances. We won't say guarantees because guarantee applies a military commitment. We're not going to commit U.S. forces, but we did say we would take an interest. And I think we need to take an interest now. Ukraine did something that was usually valuable for us 25 years ago, and we owe something for that. The last point I would make those I think what Russia's trying to do, this use of force first to seize Crimea and then which was and by the way, that seizure of Crimea was the largest land grab in Europe since World War Two. But then to use force to launch and then sustain this conflict in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that's claimed now 13000 plus lives. We need to be signaling the Russians that that's not acceptable behavior because if Moscow comes to believe they can get away with that, do they miscalculate and try it against, for example, a Baltic state where we do have a security guarantee, where we are under NATO committed to come to their defense? 

Annelise Riles [00:04:19] Do you think that if the U.S. doesn't come to Ukraine's aid at this moment, there could be possible implications for our efforts to convince other emerging nuclear powers to give up their weapons and join the NPT in the future? 

Steven Pifer [00:04:33] Definitely. I think what Russia did in Russia's violation of those assurances that they made back in 1994 are very damaging for the use of security challenges in future nonproliferation cases. So, for example, in the 1990s, there was talk about security assurances from North Korea as part of the solution to get North Korea not to proceed down a nuclear course. And I would not want to have a North Korean diplomat ask his or her Ukrainian counterpart, how do those security assurances work out for you? And so, part of it is to change the answer. I want the Ukrainian diplomat to be able to say, look, the Russians violated those assurances, you know? But the United States stood by us politically, economically and provided US military assistance military equipment. I think that's a better story to salvage what I think is a hugely damaging step towards security assurances as a tool in the struggle to prevent nuclear proliferation. 

Annelise Riles [00:05:29] We're speaking late in the week when Biden and Putin have just had a phone call. Tell me about your analysis of this phone call. Was there anything unexpected or particularly consequential about it from your point of view? 

Steven Pifer [00:05:44] I think President Biden needed what he had to do in that phone call. First, he described to Putin the sorts of chaos that would ensue if the Russian military goes into Ukraine now, things like additional economic sanctions, which they described as on a scale that have not been considered before additional military assistance flowing into Ukraine, but also something that I think bothers the Kremlin is look, if the Russians use additional military force in Ukraine beyond what they've done, you're going to have nervous allies in the Baltic states and in Poland. Those countries that border Russian territory of the president basically said we would have to take steps to enhance NATO's presence on those countries territories to provide a greater assurance to them. Now, I think the big cost was least not publicly articulated by the White House, but it's the prospect that if the Russian army goes into Ukraine, they will face a much better Ukrainian military than it based in 2014. And well, at the end of the day, the Russian military is likely to win. The Ukrainian military will extract a price. But President Biden also said these are the costs. But he said, you know, if you de-escalate the situation, we can now do some diplomacy. And he seemed to be suggesting to dialogs. One is a more energized American diplomacy working with the Germans and the French in what's called the Normandy process to try to broker a solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and Donbas. But the president also said We can have a dialog, not just the US-Russia dialog. It'll have to involve a lot of other countries that will look at some of the broader European security questions and perhaps address some issues that Russia has raised, as well as some issues on the American and NATO side. 

Annelise Riles [00:07:29] You just mentioned the possible military costs for Russia if it were to invade, and I think that in a recent piece on the Brookings website, you made that point as well. You said that Putin should expect a potential military quagmire if Russia invades Ukraine. When I read that parallels to Afghanistan came to mind because many were surprised that the will to fight that was predicted by the experts and the intelligence forces just was not there in the end in that case. So, what makes you confident this time that the Ukrainians will fight to defend themselves? 

Steven Pifer [00:08:07] I think you're getting those signals from Ukrainians. As I said, I mean, first of all, the Ukrainian military, it's twice the size of what it was in 2014. In 2014, they had perhaps 6000 troops that they considered combat ready. Now they have tens of thousands of troops who have served a long line of contact where they faced off against Russian and Russian proxy forces. They have some experience, but another step that I think the Russians have to worry about, and perhaps maybe the larger worry is the potential for Partisan conflict. The Ukrainians are thinking in those terms, I've heard that they've handed out a lot of AK 47s, and here that may well be the parallel to Afghanistan, which is the Soviets found in 1979. We found out in 2001. Getting in was fairly straightforward. It was then what happened after you got in. And I think that there is that potential for Russia to find itself really in a quagmire. I go back to a conversation I had with a former senior Ukrainian military officer, and it was just after somebody in Moscow said, well, Putin is ours. We can be in Kiev in two weeks’ time. And his answer was, well, yeah, they could be here in two weeks and goes, but they would have a really hard time getting out. I hope that's understood in the Kremlin. I do sometimes worry that the Kremlin may not understand Ukraine all that well and may not understand the potential for this military operation if that is what they're thinking about now. And it may well be that Vladimir Putin has not yet decided, but I do hope that they appreciate that there could, in fact, be strong resistance. And I would believe that the prospect of Russian soldiers coming home in body bags is not going to be something that would be popular with the broader Russian public. 

Annelise Riles [00:09:53] Well, let's talk about ordinary Ukrainians because you're really uniquely positioned to share with us insights about how this looks on the ground in Ukraine. How do ordinary Ukrainians think about this conflict? If I were doing my shopping today on the streets in Kiev, I was talking to people. What would you expect that I would hear? What kinds of positions, what kinds of concerns, what kinds of hopes and dreams? 

Steven Pifer [00:10:18] I think they are concerned about the prospect of war with Russia. But I think what you would find, and this is a huge change from when I was there 20 years ago, is there's a much. Stronger sense of the Ukrainian national identity. I credit Vladimir Putin with a lot of that. I remember being in Kiev in 2014 or 2015, and a Ukrainian political scientist said, you know, Vladimir Putin has succeeded where centuries of Ukrainian nationalists have failed. He's built a sense of national identity. He's imbued it with a fairly strong anti-Russian feeling. And that's different when I was in Ukraine in the 1990s. You know, there were some Ukrainian nationalists in the West who were very anti-Russian, but I would not say that reflect the views of the bulk of the population. I think today the population is not anti-individual Russian, but they are very hostile towards the idea of the Russian government. And you see it in polls, for example, when I was in Ukraine in the 1990s, but even up until 2014, the idea of Ukraine joining NATO was not all that popular in Ukraine. It would get five, maybe 27 percent support in the polls. Now you see polls regularly showing pluralities, if not majorities. There is one congressman who said 58 percent of Ukrainians do not want to be in NATO. I think there is this concern that the unknowable is does that translate into active resistance of the Russian military comes and my sense is I'm a large part of the population. I think there will be that active resistance. 

Annelise Riles [00:11:46] What about the population's views of the United States? 

Steven Pifer [00:11:51] The Ukrainians increasingly look at the United States in the West. If you ask the Ukrainians, what would they like to be? My guess is most would say I want to be a normal European state. I'd like to be like the Czech Republic with that standard of living with that kind of democracy, you know, and also with that degree of stability and security. I think those who think in those terms probably see the United States as more the partner that thinks in strategic terms, more so than, say, Europe. But my guess is most Ukrainians would just like to be regular Europeans. 

Annelise Riles [00:12:23] What are the important fault lines when it comes to politics among the population? Is it geographical region, age, education, class, gender? What would it be that would decide where you stand on that 55 percent being in favor of joining Naito or 45 percent being against? 

Steven Pifer [00:12:41] Typically, you see stronger support for bringing Ukraine into the west in western Ukraine and in central Ukraine. But even the numbers have come up surprisingly in the eastern part of the country. When Ukraine regained independence in 1991, there was this talk of this East-West divide and to some extent, the divide was, I think, more in language terms and anything else in the eastern part of Ukraine, the majority population was still ethnically Ukrainian, but they tended more to speak Russian as their first language. The only part of Ukraine were ethnic. Ukrainians were not. The majority was Crimea. But I think that East-West divide has eroded, and I'll share one anecdote. In 2015, I was part of a group between the Brookings Institution and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Atlantic Council, and we were looking at what would be the military requirements, what kind of military assistance the United States might provide Ukraine. Most of our recommendations, by the way, for more, were for non-lethal assistance, although we did recommend men portable anti-armor weapons. But the Ukrainians arranged for several of us to go from the Dnipro to Kramatorsk. Kramatorsk was the field headquarters for Ukrainian military operations in the Donbass area. Was really fascinating to me was on this two, two-and-a-half-hour drive from the Dnipro to call towards going to villages and towns. And what this is like this is eastern Ukraine. This is where you would expect people to speak more Russian and Ukrainian such. But going through villages, what you saw flying from apartments and houses where Ukrainian flags, fences, planes in the national colors of blue and yellow. This sense of national identity that you would see Kiev. And I think that's interesting that that sense of identity, I think, has actually moved into what people would have said. Really, that's eastern Ukraine. That's the area that's more sympathetic to Russia. I think the last seven years have eroded a lot of the sympathetic sympathies that might have been there. 

Annelise Riles [00:14:36] As you think about these next few weeks, what are you most worried about and what are you potentially hopeful about? 

Steven Pifer [00:14:43] I think we still have to be concerned about the Russians making the wrong decision and using military force. Although when I sum up the costs of economic sanctions, more military assistance to Ukraine, the stronger need of presence in the central and eastern area and the prospect of Russian casualties. My own conclusion is that that would be that without any kind of benefits, the Russians want to get there. Let me also concede that in the past, I've not been the best predictor of Vladimir Putin's logic. So, I don't exclude that, and I think it is important now as President Biden in the West should act on the assumption that the worst could happen. And now you will be signaling to the Russians the maximum possible picture of the costs that will ensue because. We're trying to set the Kremlin's cost benefit calculation and dissuade them from doing something. There's also the president said there would be early contacts regarding how these dialogs might initiate that. There is a question, for example, know what's the format for this discussion on broader European security questions? One format might be what Ambassador Kelly, where he used to be the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. So, I think there's still some diplomacy done, but I guess I would be watching for two things now. The first thing which I would hope would happen more immediately is, is there a change in rhetoric coming out of Moscow? Because what you saw in the 10 days leading up to the presidential phone call on December seven was really over the top really almost wore scare type stuff. Does Moscow now moderate that rhetoric? And then, of course, the more important signal and we may not see this for a bit down the road is do the Russian forces that have deployed the forward positions, do they return the garrisons? And one of the things, for example, that has people concerned is, as I understand it, you know, some of these units have deployed from Siberia. They've come for thousand kilometers. Do those guys start moving back with their equipment back to their regular garrisons? And that would be a pretty important signal that maybe the crisis is in the air? And then can the United States be working with its partners in Europe and also working with the Ukrainians? Because this, you know, the Ukrainians are going to have to be at the table? Yeah, it can't be a deal cut over their heads. But can we work some approaches on both the conflict in Donbas and also border security questions in Europe that might diffuse these issues and at least get the diplomacy started? 

Annelise Riles [00:17:15] Steven Pifer, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us today. We'll be watching to see if you're right and we hope you are. 

Steven Pifer [00:17:22] Thank you for having me. 

Annelise Riles [00:17:32] My next guest is Ian Kelly, ambassador in residence right here at Northwestern University. Previously, Ian served as U.S. ambassador to Georgia, ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. State Department spokesperson and director of the Office of Russian Affairs in Washington, D.C. Welcome, Ian. 

Ian Kelly [00:17:53] It's great to be here, Annelise.

Annelise Riles [00:17:54] So let's turn to the Soviet side of this calculus. So first, could you perhaps give our listeners a quick primer on Russian and Ukrainian relations historically? What are the key aspects of this history and how does that impact the way both Russians and Ukrainians are looking at this situation today? 

Ian Kelly [00:18:16] When you look at Russia and how it sees Ukraine, I think it really comes back to the foundation of the East Slavic state, which was called Rus back in the 9th and 10th centuries. I think Russia has always seen Kiev or as they say Kiev as their kind of their Jerusalem in many ways. I'm not saying that I see this as necessarily something that's acceptable, but this is the perspective of many Russians. The fact is, however, that several times in history Ukraine has had its own state. They're a sovereign state now. But right after World War One, after the Russian Revolution, there was a state of Ukraine until the Red Army came in and incorporated into the Soviet Union. But a big part of Ukraine has always been more oriented towards the West than Muscovite has been. Ukraine, at times been part of Poland, has been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So, this is one of the historical factors which is driving kind of the emotional content of this conflict. 

Annelise Riles [00:19:28] So you've said that since the Cold War, Russia has really been trying to reassert its sphere of influence in places like Ukraine, but also elsewhere. So how successful do you think that Russia has been in expanding its sphere of influence? 

Ian Kelly [00:19:49] So Russia tried using kind of a multilateral approach to kind of reconstituting, I wouldn't call it the empire, the Soviet no, but reconstituting a constellation of nations centered around Moscow. They had the Commonwealth of Independent States. They've had something called the Eurasian Union, which is a supposed to be an eastern counterpart of the European Union. But they really have not been able to draw many countries into the into these various constellations. They really have only succeeded in bringing in for the Eurasian Union, for example, only succeeded in bringing in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. The real prize for Russian nationalists, of course, is Ukraine. And for many Russians, for these right-wing nationalists, Russia is inconceivable without Ukraine being a part of Russia. They haven't been able to draw Ukraine in by the power of attraction. So, what they're using is, is coercion. This is something I think that should concern everybody. This idea that a greater power can use the threat of force to try and dictate the policy of a sovereign state. The big gap, I think between Moscow and the rest of the world is that many in Moscow, including Mr. Putin himself, doesn't see Ukraine as a sovereign state. 

Annelise Riles [00:21:27] So let's turn to this call between President Biden and Vladimir Putin. What was your interpretation of how the call went? 

Ian Kelly [00:21:36] We don't have a lot of information about it, in fact, the Kremlin put out a bit more information about the call and really characterize it more, as is a negotiation. They used the word negotiation. I'm very wary of an if two great powers negotiating over the fate of a sovereign nation like Ukraine. So, I was pleased that the emphasis of the White House statement was more on trying to deter Putin from destroying the sovereignty and territorial integrity further of of Ukraine. But I think that one thing we need to be careful of is if we do enter into negotiations, it can't be without the Ukrainians or over there. You know, the Ukrainians had I mean, this is something that Europe doesn't do anymore. It was one of the reasons we had two world wars in the 20th century. So, this really must be rejected. This idea of the great powers can dictate terms to smaller countries. 

Annelise Riles [00:22:46] I think you tweeted out that the Kremlin's readout of the call was replete with Soviet era vibes, and I'm so interested in that because you're a specialist in language and literature as well as a diplomat. So, what do you mean by that and what are the implications of what language is used in that readout? 

Ian Kelly [00:23:10] It's really interesting how Putin has really has kind of co-opted some of the history of the Soviet Union. I mean, it's a whitewash history, and he's really trying to emphasize kind of the imperial aspects of the Soviet Union how it was on parity with the United States. And of course, this was one of the reasons he was seeking this meeting, which, you know, they which I said they call a summit or a negotiation because it reminds Russians of when they were on top of the world, you know, when they were one of the two superpowers. And what I'm concerned about is by co-opting the troops and Soviet language. It can be seen as a justification for behaving like the Soviet Union. Steve mentioned, you know, the invasion of Afghanistan. The Russian Army also invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia, all in the name of preventing states from becoming independent from Moscow. That's why they invaded in 56 and then in 68. I just I find it conservative when they take on themselves the rhetoric of the Soviet Union. 

Annelise Riles [00:24:23] As Steve mentioned, Biden told Putin in the call that the U.S. will take actions it did not take in 2014 if Russia does decide to invade Ukraine. Biden warned of economic consequences like none Putin's ever seen. So, what exactly does that mean, Ian? And do you think that in the cost benefit calculus, as Putin sees it, this is a serious enough deterrence. 

Ian Kelly [00:24:51] That really is a hundred-thousand-dollar question is the threat of further sanctions, which would be extremely painful and would basically. Well, I mean, I know exactly what they're proposing, but would isolate Russia even more from the Western economic system. Is that enough to deter Putin? I think if you're talking, if you're talking about any other country, but Ukraine. Possibly. You know, I think you could rely on that being able to deter him. But the rhetoric in Moscow is so overheated about the, you know, righteous mission of the Russians to keep Ukraine from becoming fascist and the right of Russia to be able to dictate terms to Ukraine. That is not entirely clear to me that these economic measures will actually deter him. And that's I think that's what scares me is Putin seems to feel that this is a wrong that was made in 1991, and it has to be righted now, particularly as he is. This propaganda puts it that Ukraine is becoming a big native base and you know, it is in Russia's national interest to stop Naito from taking over Ukraine. 

Annelise Riles [00:26:12] As we know in political science now, there's a lot of talk about how we've assumed for a long time that everyone is a rational actor and maybe they're not right. And so, if we're not rational actors, a lot of our theories may not apply about how you deter people. Let me ask you about Putin and his role in all this, because there's been a lot of speculation in the news media about what's going on in Putin's mind. What is he thinking as he made a decision? Is he not made a decision? Just wondering, as an expert in the region, if you can help us understand the decision-making process in Russia right now, is it really Putin's call to make this decision all by himself? Is there some other institutional process? Are there other players we should be thinking about who we should be understanding have a role in this? What do you think? 

Ian Kelly [00:26:58] Yeah, it's interesting. I think we had kind of, you know, better, better insight into the decision-making process of the Kremlin during the Soviet Union than we do now. I mean, we were pretty sure that there was a form of collective decision making during the Soviet times and with the Politburo, and they did vote on policy changes. We don't have that kind of insight, I think, into what goes on in in Putin's Kremlin. Although I will say that I don't think that he is in a position that they hold the keys and absolutely nothing is absolute power. I think that he knows that he needs the support of the military and of the security services. And I don't think that he would do something that would be, you know, objected to by some of those power, you know, power actors in Moscow, just judging by how they're talking about this. Unfortunately, it seems that those power actors seem to be supporting the idea of kinetic action. But that might just be, you know, then might this be part of their negotiating stance with the West? I'm not sure. 

Annelise Riles [00:28:16] And finally, I want to ask you, Ian, about Ukraine's neighbors because you've been ambassador to Georgia, you've worked in Belgrade, you know, the region really well. So how do you think this potential conflict is being viewed by Ukraine's neighbors? How well do you think the U.S. is doing it, coordinating with those neighbors? And what role do you think they will play in this potential conflict? 

Ian Kelly [00:28:41] That's a great question. And it's interesting. I think, you know, one of the goals of the Biden administration has to be to keep Naito together. That means that the negotiating stance, if we are going to negotiate has to be pretty firm because of the eastern members of Naito, you know, Poland and the Baltic states and, you know, in other states that we're in there, we're in the Warsaw Pact before. So, there is I think that the Ukrainians, I think, can count on a lot more political support in many ways from some of those Eastern members because of their shared history with an imperialistic, aggressive power in Moscow. And the same thing applies to the EU, too. And it'll be interesting to see how the dynamics change with the new chancellor in in Berlin, the previous chancellor who I had a lot of respect for and Angela Merkel, but she tended to do things on her own with Putin. She had a relationship with them. He speaks fluent German. She speaks Russian. And I think that there was there were a lot of EU states that were a little concerned about that. So, we have a, you know, obviously we'll have a new dynamic with the new chancellor at the end of the Merkel era. So yeah, it's going to be it's going to be interesting. It's going to be stressful, but it's going to be interesting for the next few weeks. 

Annelise Riles [00:30:06] So on that note, as I asked Stephen, what are you most worried about at this point and what are you most hopeful for? 

Ian Kelly [00:30:15] I am most worried about undermining Ukraine's sovereignty, about this whole idea of, you know, a great power forcing smaller powers into making concessions. You know, so a lot will depend on how much we coordinate with, especially with Eastern European states and. In Ukraine in terms of what I'm thankful about. You know, Steve talked about how people have really kind of rallied behind Nadeau in Ukraine, how there's been this kind of counterproductive outcome of Putin's bullying, the people of that support for Ukraine itself as it's going up. And I think the same thing is true for North Atlantic or Euro-Atlantic relations, how coming off of four years of America first, that we're seeing much more coordination, much more common positions. And that's a very good thing that we are now making common cause with the biggest, second biggest economic market in the world. And you know, that's important, you know, the administration uses the term build back better. Well, this particular conflict is a great opportunity to build back a relationship with Europe. 

Annelise Riles [00:31:40] Well, in we here at Northwestern are just so grateful for all you contribute to. Our intellectual community today is just one small example of that. Thank you so much for being part of this podcast, this conversation, thank you. 

Ian Kelly [00:31:54] Thank you. 

Annelise Riles [00:31:58] For more information on this episode and on the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, visit us at.