U.S. President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) said Washington “will not hesitate to call out Russia if we see something wrong,” just as the administration has done on Ukraine and Syria.
The U.S. envoy to the U.N., Nikki Haley, spoke to Al Jazeera Wednesday after Trump’s first address to a joined session of Congress, where she commended the president for striking a more conciliatory tone with Washington legislators.
“It was a very different tone,” she said. “It was presidential. It was meant to tell the world that America is going to lead again.” She added: “I think it was time for him to change the tone and he did that tonight. His goal is to unify the country.”
Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley presents her credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at U.N. headquarters in New York City, U.S., January 27. She has promised to "call out" any Russian actions that the U.S. is uncomfortable with. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
The envoy’s criticism of Russia’s latest involvement with the U.N. bore an evident contrast from the more evasive tone of Trump himself when he has been asked about Russia’s alleged interference the U.S. election and its military operations in Ukraine and Syria.
Although Haley said that administration officials “want to make more allies” for the U.S. internationally, she was more measured about whether Russia could be one of them.
“Russia doesn't have to be one or the other. I think it depends on the day,” she said. “Certainly if we can get Russia to be with us, that’s fine. But today we were very upset by Russia not voting for the resolution that criticized Syria for using chemical weapons on their own people.”
Russia and China blocked the security council resolution on Syria Tuesday and Haley said it was just one area where the Trump administration was ready to condemn Russia.
“We have criticized Russia for Crimea and Ukraine, for the actions they’ve taken there,” she said. “We will call them out when we see something wrong. If we see where we can work together, of course, we’re going to try and do that.”Try Newsweek: Subscription offers