Temporize – to be indecisive or evasive to gain time or delay acting; to treat or parley so as to gain time

“So,” he said, checking traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue before making a left turn.

“So, the meeting went exactly as I had predicted, and now we can be absolutely certain why they are kidnapping our men,” Arbatov replied.

“And that is, Comrade Ambassador?” the driver prompted. He did not let his irritation show. Only a few years before this Party hack would nor have dared temporize with a senior KGB officer.

A Senior KGB Officer and Ambassador Arbatov, The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy