Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who served under Donald Trump, criticized President Joe Biden on Sunday over reports that the president and his team had urged China’s government behind the scenes to help persuade Moscow against going to war in Ukraine.
Speaking on NBCs Meet the Press, the former South Carolina governor and potential 2024 GOP candidate said that she operated under the assumption that China’s government shared most if not all intelligence with Russia.
“You never ask an enemy for help with another enemy. I never told China anything I did not want Russia to know,” she told NBC.
“I was mortified that Biden went so far as to ask China for help with Russia,” Ms Haley added.
“You can not trust Xi. You can not trust China, ”she reiterated, speaking of China’s President Xi Jinping.
The New York Times reported that senior US officials met with their Chinese counterparts a handful of times in seeking their help to avert the conflict.
Ms Haley went on to say that the Biden administration should end US imports of Russian oil, which accounts for a small fraction of the US’s oil usage. The former ambassador’s call was in line with those made by a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week as the Biden administration has largely avoided targeting Russia’s energy sector with economic punishments.
“You never ask an enemy for help with another enemy. I never told China anything I did not want Russia to know.” pic.twitter.com/R9nPdulRrv
– Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 6, 2022
“We’ve got to make sure we sanction these energy companies, all of them. We’ve got to make sure we pull them out of the international banking system, and we need to stop taking any Russian oil. The idea that we would give our money to an enemy is unthinkable, and it’s absolute lunacy. We can not allow this to continue, ”she said on Sunday.
US sanctions have targeted Gazprom, a major Russian natural gas company, and one hydroelectric company but has largely avoided hitting Russia’s oil production sector. Germany and some European nations also continue to purchase Russian energy on a significant scale, complicating efforts to isolate Moscow economically.
Some of the focus has shifted away from economic means in recent days as Ukraine’s government has stepped up its request for aircraft or the instatement of a no-fly zone over the country’s airspace, the latter of which the Biden administration has warned would lead to direct warfare between NATO and Russia.
The Biden administration has surged its assistance to Ukraine since the invasion began and weapons shipments have already arrived in the country as Ukraine’s outnumbered defenders have scored a number of early successes against the larger Russian invasion force.