Nikki Haley Blasts Russia in First Remarks at UN Security Council

Haley leveled criticism at Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

ByJ.J. Gallagher and Justin Fishel
February 2, 2017, 8:59 PM

— -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took aim at Russia today in her first comments before the U.N. Security Council.

Haley said it was “unfortunate” that she had to level criticisms, but she said, “I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia.”

“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,” Haley said. “This escalation of violence must stop.”

Clashes have intensified over the past five days in eastern Ukraine, the site of a simmering conflict between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces.

Some 15 people have been killed since violence flared up over the weekend, according to the Associated Press. The fighting there began in April 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has so far claimed nearly 10,000 lives.

Haley said the U.S. calls for an immediate end to the occupation and that sanctions related to Russian actions in Crimea won't be lifted until it is returned to the Ukraine.

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