Many within the media have questioned President Donald Trump having a significant potential conflict of interest with the Russian Federation. Many believe that Putin and the Russian government played a role in the American Presidential election this last November. Although the impact is not known, the possibility that the Russians did play a role have caused many to be weary of Trump’s relationship with the nation.
Although policies and statements have tended to be rather lenient towards Russia, it now appears that a different trend may occur. With the selection of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, it was believed by many that the cozy relationship with the Russians may continue. But, former South Carolina Governor and current UN Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke out against Russia at the United Nations this week.
At the UN, Ambassador Haley blamed Russia for the deadly ongoing fight Ukraine. She stated that sanctions on Russia which have already been implemented against the Russian Federation will in fact continue to remain in place.
This statement should certainly be noticed, as it was Nikki Haley’s first time sitting on the UN Security Council as the United States Ambassador to the delegation. This may come as a surprise to some, as Trump’s campaign rhetoric seemed to oftentimes side with Russia President Vladimir Putin.
Never on the campaign trail did President Trump say anything negatively about Russia deciding to take in and annex Crimea in 2014. In fact, during the campaign, Trump seemed to be open to the ideas of siding with Russia in this dispute and others. This type of rhetoric was something which has very much concerned Europeans and others throughout the world, who have feared a growing Russian presence.
Haley did make clear that it is a clear goal of the Trump Administration to improve relations with Russia. However she also made clear that this does not include allowing Russia to act however they choose without repercussions. She explained, “However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”
Although these actions are made by an official appointee of President Trump, the White House itself has remained silent on this situation in Ukraine. It will be interesting to see if the rhetoric of the past continues from Trump, or if this sentiment expressed by Haley becomes more prominent.
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(h/t LA Times)