Staunch Russia critic Nikki Haley, who serves as the US ambassador to the UN, has said in the true spirit of diplomacy that Moscow and Washington will never be friends, and that the US will never trust Russia.
“We don’t trust Russia, we don’t trust Putin, we never will,” Nikki Haley told CBN News. The US envoy to the UN, who has taken a tough anti-Moscow stance since assuming office in January 2017, stressed that Russia is “never going to be our friend.” “That’s just a fact,” she added.
Haley attempted to clarify why Trump decided to hold his diplomatic tete-a-tete with Vladimir Putin during the Helsinki summit, which has created a media frenzy and been criticized by a number of politicians on both sides of the aisle in the US.
“It’s his style. It’s the way he does it,” she said of Trump, noting that he also met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinse President Xi Jinping. She explained that Trump always wants “just to create that genuine reality of the two of them talking, he feels like he needs to do it face-to-face.”
Haley didn’t miss a chance to draw parallels between Kim – who only a year ago threated to ‘reduce the US to ashes’ with a ‘super-mighty pre-emptive strike’ – and Vladimir Putin. “What I do think is, whether it’s the president sitting down with [North Korea’s] Kim or whether the president sits down with Putin, those are things that have to happen. You can’t get to the end of the other side if you don’t have those conversations,” the top diplomat stated.
Speaking after the landmark summit with Putin, Trump insisted that some people would rather “go to war” than see him getting along with his Russian counterpart. “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well, which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match,” said the head of state. Last week, the White House even said that Trump invited his Russian counterpart to visit Washington “in the fall,” and the trip is already being discussed.
Russia-US relations have been deteriorating since 2014, after the Ukrainian crisis. They became even more strained following the 2016 US presidential election, in which Russia was accused of meddling, and Washington slapped Moscow with numerous rounds of sanctions. Since 2017, the two states have exchanged a series of tit-for-tat measures, straining further fragile ties, including the expulsion of diplomatic staff and the closure of diplomatic missions.
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