Nikki Haley speaking at the United Nations
Nikki Haley speaking at the United Nations Reuters

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday spoke at an emergency UN Security Council briefing on chemical weapons use by Russia in the United Kingdom, after a nerve agent used against former Russian double agent Sirgei Skripal and his daughter earlier this month left both in critical condition.

“Let me make one thing clear from the very beginning: the United States stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain,” Haley said. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent.”

“The Russians complained recently that we criticize them too much. If the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies; and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian ally use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children; and if Russia cooperated with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by turning over all information related to this nerve agent, we would stop talking about them. We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so.

“Russia must fully cooperate with the UK’s investigation and come clean about its own chemical weapons program.

“Russia is a permanent member of the Security Council. It is entrusted in the United Nations Charter with upholding international peace and security. It must account for its actions.”

Haley also warned that lack of action could bring additional attacks on other nations in its wake.

“If we don’t take immediate, concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used,” she said. “They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this Council.”

“This is a defining moment. Time and time again, member states say they oppose the use of chemical weapons under any circumstance. Now, one member stands accused of using chemical weapons on the sovereign soil of another member. The credibility of this Council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia accountable.”