Haley: 'I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia'

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemned Thursday Russia's geopolitical maneuver in Eastern Ukraine, stating that Moscow's aggressive behavior "demands clear and strong condemnation."

"I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. It is unfortunate because it is a replay of far too many instances over many years in which Unites States representatives have needed to do that. It should not have to be that way," Haley said, as reported by NBC News.
 
The politically fragile region in Ukraine was engulfed in conflict yet again this week, after Russian-backed separatists clashed with Ukrainian forces.
 
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The U.S. diplomat, who was confirmed by the Senate last week, maintained that Washington still wants to improve relations with Russia, but added that the Kremlin's aggression can not go unnoticed. 
 
"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," she said.
 
A Russian official blasted her remarks, which he said mimic the strong anti-Kremlin statements often made by the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.
 
"It looks like the new U.S. representative at the UN came with remarks that were written by [Samantha] Power," Pushkov said in a tweet.
 
During her address, Haley also condemned Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, pledging to keep Crimea-related sanctions in place until Moscow returns the territory to Ukraine. 
 
The "United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine," Haley said.
 
She also encouraged Russia to honor the Minsk agreement, a peace deal that was designed to ensure a ceasefire in the region.
 
The U.S. "stands with the people of Ukraine who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military intervention," Haley stated.
 
"There is a clear path to restoring peace in Eastern Ukraine -- full and immediate implementation of the Minsk agreements, which the United States continues to support."