Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday faulted President Biden for not calling out countries that allegedly are helping Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Haley, who represented the Trump administration at the UN, said Biden delivered a “strong” condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nearly seven-month invasion, but that it would have been better to “call out” Moscow’s allies.
“I think he wanted to be strong on Russia and he did that. But in the United Nations setting, the best thing to do is to call out everybody that’s doing anything that’s helping the bully, that’s helping the dictator,” Haley said in a Fox News interview.
“He should have doubled down and said, ‘Look at who’s helping Russia, so when Russia talks about nuclear weapons, these countries are helping. What are they doing to stop it?’”
Biden spoke hours after Putin announced an activation of 300,000 Russian military reservists to bolster Kremlin forces in Ukraine. The Russian government this week announced plans to annex four Ukrainian provinces following murky referendums.
“What he didn’t do, which I wish you would have gone further [on], is call out the countries that are helping Russia — call out the fact that China is helping, call out the fact that Iran is sending drones, call out North Korea for doing rockets,” Haley said. “He could have made that a bigger isolation, if he would have called those countries out.”
“It was strong words. Now he’s got to follow it with strong actions,” Haley also said. “Get with NATO, make sure [Ukraine] is getting anti-drone equipment, make sure you’re getting the equipment. We don’t need to send blank checks to Ukraine. You need to make sure they have the ability to defend themselves.”
Biden pointedly blamed Putin for the war in his UN General Assembly remarks, calling it “a brutal needless war chosen by one man.”
“A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor, attempted to erase a sovereign state from the map,” Biden said. “Russia has shamelessly violated the core tenets of the United Nations Charter [and] the clear prohibition against countries taking the territory of their neighbor by force.”
Biden went on, “Just today, President Putin has made overt nuclear threats against Europe and reckless disregard for the responsibilities of the non-proliferation regime.”
The president added, “Now Russia is calling up more soldiers join the fight. And the Kremlin is organizing a sham referendum to try to annex parts of Ukraine — an extremely significant violation of the UN Charter. This world should see these outrageous acts for what they are.”
“No one threatened Russia and no one other than Russia sought conflict,” Biden said. “Putin’s own words make his true purpose unmistakable. Just before he invaded, Putin asserted, and I quote, ‘Ukraine was created by Russia’ and never had ‘real statehood.’”
Biden separately blasted a Chinese nuclear weapons buildup and vowed that “we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon” during his UN remarks, though he didn’t directly mention the countries with regard to the Ukraine war.
Haley, a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate, said on Fox News that she believes Biden helped cause the Russian invasion of Ukraine by overseeing the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.
“None of this would have happened had we not had the debacle in Afghanistan. None of these threats around the world would have happened,” Haley said. “But when you go, when you show weakness, the enemies see an opportunity.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), meanwhile, called on Biden to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism — a proposal contained in legislation he and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced last week
“I urge the Biden Administration to support designating Putin’s Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism based on these continued provocations and acts of terror. It would send an unequivocal signal to the world that Putin is an international pariah,” Graham said in a tweet as Biden spoke at the UN.
The designation would “drastically” cut defense and technology exports to Russia, as well as eliminate Moscow’s sovereign immunity in US courts, exposing it to lawsuits from families and victims of terrorism, Graham wrote.
The Republican National Committee said in a statement that Biden’s policies have made the US “less safe.”
“Enabling adversaries, ducking blame, and putting America last is Joe Biden’s foreign policy doctrine. From Afghanistan to the open border, Joe Biden has destroyed America’s standing on the world stage, placed Americans in harm’s way, and has made our communities less safe as a result,” chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said.