Nikki Haley: U.S. Wants Better Relations With Russia But Not At Any Cost

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attends a meeting of the Security Council on the threats posed by international terrorism at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

For an administration that is totally subservient to Vladimir Putin, they certainly seem to be going about it the wrong way. Put aside the selection of H. R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley isn’t helping matters much, either.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday said the United States is ready to improve ties with Russia but will not compromise on its support for NATO and the European Union.

Haley told a Security Council debate on conflicts in Europe that “Russia’s attempts to destabilize Ukraine” were among the most serious challenges facing the continent.

“The United States thinks it’s possible to have a better relationship with Russia – after all, we confront many of the same threats,” Haley said.

“But greater cooperation with Russia cannot come at the expense of the security of our European friends and allies.”

She goes on to make some very pointed statements:

Haley said the United States was committed to “the institutions that keep Europe safe” and that it “will not waver” in its support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The United States wants to deepen cooperation within NATO while “keeping the door open to new allies,” she said.

Enlarging NATO has been a major bone of contention with Russia, which sees any expansion of the military alliance in eastern Europe as a policy of containment directed against Moscow.

Haley described US ties with the European Union as “deep and enduring” and said differences with European governments should not be seen as a shift in US support.

“No one should misinterpret occasional policy differences and debates as a signal of anything less than total commitment to our alliances in Europe. That commitment is strong,” she said.

I’ve never believed the hype about Trump’s willingness to accommodate Russia to America’s detriment (though I will admit harboring those thoughts about a couple of his more prominent campaign advisers). But if accommodating Putin was his goal he’s pretty much boxed himself in with his choices as National Security Adviser, Defense, State, and the UN. It is hard to see all four of those suddenly walking away from NATO and giving Putin a blank check.