Russia's Actions in Ukraine Condemned at United Nations
February 08, 2017

The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, addresses a Security Council meeting of the United Nations, Feb. 2, 2017.
The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, addresses a Security Council meeting of the United Nations, Feb. 2, 2017.

The United States has once again condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, following an escalation in fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking publicly for the first time before the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley deplored the fact that the United States must repeatedly “condemn the aggressive actions of Russia:”

“It is unfortunate because it is a replay of far too many instances over many years in which the United States’ representatives have needed to do that. It should not have to be that way. We do want to better our relations with Russia. However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”

Eastern Ukraine is not the only part of the country suffering from Russia’s aggressive actions. Ambassador Haley pointed to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and called for its immediate end:

“Crimea is part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine. The basic principle of this United Nations is that states should live side-by-side in peace.”

Full and immediate implementation of the Minsk agreements, which the United States continues to support, she said, “is a clear path to restoring peace in Ukraine.”

“The Minsk agreements require the disengagement of forces and withdrawal of heavy weapons from both sides of the contact line. This is the formula for a sustainable cease fire. Pulling back forces and taking heavy weapons out of this area will save lives. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Special Monitoring Mission must also be granted full, unfettered access.”

Ambassador Haley noted that both Russia and Ukraine supported the Security Council’s unanimous call on January 31 to return to a ceasefire. “It is the first time in years that this Council was able to come together on Ukraine,” she said. “The United States expects that those who can influence the groups that are fighting – in particular, Russia – will do everything possible to support an end to this escalation of violence.”

The United States stands with the people of Ukraine who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military intervention,” said Ambassador Haley. “Until Russia and the separatists it supports respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity this crisis will continue.”