United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley scorched Russia during a UN Security Council meeting, warning the nation directly about its use of chemical weapons.
Haley spoke to members Wednesday about potential attacks in major cities around the globe and called for action, declaring U.S. support of the United Kingdom’s strong stance against Russia after the attempted murder of Russian national Sergei Skripal.
“Alone, Russia’s crime is worthy of this council’s action, but this is not an isolated incident. The assassination attempt in Salisbury is part of an alarming increase in the use of chemical weapons,” Haley said Wednesday, citing other examples following a nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter. The UK moved to expel 23 Russian diplomats in response.
“Last year, the North Korean regime used the nerve agent VX to publicly assassinate Kim Jong-un’s brother in a Malaysian airport. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to kill its own people with chemical weapons years after this council passed Resolution 2118 to remove the threat from Syria’s chemical weapons program,” the ambassador said, noting the common denominator.
“A growing concern in all of this dangerous and destabilizing activity is Russia,” she continued. “Russia failed to ensure Syria destroyed its chemical weapons program. Russia killed the joint investigative mechanism when it found Assad liable for chemical attacks. Russia used its veto to shield Assad five times last year. It has also provided cover for Syria in The Hague, in The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
Never flinching, Haley shot the ball clear into Russia’s court.
“The Russians complained recently that we criticize them too much. If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children, and if Russia cooperated with the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them,” Haley declared.
“We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so,” she said, saying the nation “must account for its actions.”
“This is a defining moment,” Haley concluded. “Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance. Now one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”
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