Former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, joined Fox News’s “American Newsroom” Thursday to discuss the situation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s paranoia, and President Joe Biden’s failure to hit Russia in the energy sector.
When asked about the more than one million Ukrainian refugees who have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries, Haley called the situation a “catastrophe.”
“Thank goodness for Poland and everyone being so welcoming,” Haley said. “This is going to be a huge effect on all of those European countries that are taking these refugees in and the world to see what will happen.”
“It is not over,” Haley added. “This will last a long time. You will see dramatic effects on Europe.”
Haley spoke of the United Nations General Assembly vote yesterday, in which 141 countries voted in favor of a resolution to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, with four countries standing with Russia and 35 abstaining.
“It’s always good when you have the entire world coming together to condemn a violent dictator and everything that he’s doing,” said Haley, adding that Syria and North Korea’s support for Russia was “no surprise.”
Belarus and the African nation of Eritrea also stood with Russia.
As for the abstentions, Haley finds them “fascinating.”
“I think it’s fascinating that the Arab community has not spoken up, when it’s an oil war, too,” Haley said. “The reason that’s happening is, they don’t trust that America will lead, and they don’t trust that Putin will lose. So it’s a tough situation. So all of those abstentions were, ‘we don’t know where to go.'”
“Look at India and some of these countries doing it,” Haley continued. “They don’t know what will happen.”
Asked about the reports that Ukrainian fighters were allegedly “tipped off” to Russian troop movements by someone from within Moscow and whether or not Putin may be getting paranoid, Haley is certain that he is and that it is certain to get worse.
“He knows there is a threat he would be eliminated because he is trying to eliminate Zelenskyy, right?” responded Haley. “So when you see the whole world coming against you, he was already paranoid before. I think you’re going to see this move further. But this goes to how evil he is. Keep in mind this is the same man that helped Syria use chemical weapons against women and children. This is the same man who allowed for Malaysian Air to be shot down. This is the same man who tried to poison opponents and get them killed. This is not a good actor. But then you go and you put this situation where he is being pushed in a corner, he absolutely is going to be paranoid.”
Haley also stressed the need to keep the eyes on China as the Russian – Ukraine conflict plays out, noting that Putin did not want to upset China by invading Ukraine during the Olympics.
“I said that, during the Olympics, when people asked if I thought Putin would invade, I said if it’s going to happen, it will happen after February 20th,” Haley said. “We knew he wasn’t going to do it doing the Olympics, for two reasons: He cared about the medal count — believe it or not, he does — and then secondly, he wasn’t going to upset China. There was no need to do that. He wasn’t going to upset China, so he waited until after and now, he’s started to move.”
“What we have to make sure we’re doing is, all eyes need to continue to be on China. As tragic as this is, China is looking at Russia saying, ‘This was sloppy. They didn’t do it well.’ But China is not saying, ‘Okay, this is going to keep us from moving on Taiwan.’ What they are saying is, ‘Okay, who is sending arms to Ukraine, which companies are pulling out of Russia? How is the world reacting?’ This is about making sure their strategy is different.
“It is not if, it’s when,” stressed Haley. “They will move on Taiwan. They are just learning from every bit of this. This should be a lesson to the world, that the dependency Russia had on Europe and how dangerous that was — the dependency that the world has on China is going to be even bigger, stronger, and worse.”
As for the Russian oligarchs who seem to be siding with Ukraine as their assets are frozen and seized under strict global sanctions, Haley says we should instead be focusing our efforts on hitting Russia’s energy sector.
“Why Biden hasn’t done that yet — that’s what is going to hurt Putin,” Haley said. “The only thing Putin cares about is the fact that Russia is a one-industry country. Hit them in the energy sector. Why are we exempting that? You do that, that’s going to affect him so much more than any oligarch is going to affect him.”
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