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Haley 'condemns' Russia for Ukraine fighting, Crimea

"The United States is determined to push for action. There is no time to waste," Haley said of the Ukraine crisis.

By Doug G. Ware
Haley 'condemns' Russia for Ukraine fighting, Crimea
The new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley waits to address a Security Council on the situation in Ukraine at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Thursday. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley made her debut appearance at the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, where she condemned the Russian government for its ongoing military activity in Ukraine.

The former South Carolina governor, vetted and confirmed last month as President Donald Trump's chief U.N. diplomat, joined a contingent of other nations Thursday in slamming Moscow for renewed fighting in the Donetsk region this week.

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"This is my first appearance in this chamber," Haley said in her opening remarks. "The United States is determined to push for action. There is no time to waste.

"I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia."

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This week, more than a dozen soldiers have been killed amid increased military activity -- which has prompted Ukraine to express interest in joining NATO and Russia to accuse Ukraine fighter jets of provoking its troops.

Thursday, Haley said the United States would like to improve its relationship with Russia.

"However, the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions," she said. "The sudden increase in fighting in eastern Ukraine has trapped thousands of civilians and has destroyed vital infrastructure."

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"The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation."

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In March 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin's government annexed Crimea, which has been followed by many months of escalating military clashes between Moscow and Kiev.

"Until Russia and the separatists it supports respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, this crisis will continue," Haley added.

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"This escalation of violence must stop."

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