Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “madman” poised to kill thousands in Ukraine, but the world is united against him and others “thinking of doing bad things,” the US ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Nides, who has represented Washington in Israel since December, spoke at an event organized by the Jewish People Policy Institute, alongside former US ambassador Dennis Ross.
Lamenting the “tragedy” of Ukraine he said was caused by Putin, Nides said the silver lining of sorts was “Europe and the world coming together to show in unity” against Russia, exceeding US expectations.
“If you would have told me or any of us in this room that every one of our European colleagues will be placing sanctions on Russia in the way they have done at their own peril, at their own cost, I don’t think any of us would have imagined this,” he said, adding, “It crosses all sectors, all economies.”
“What we’re seeing for the first time in a very long time, is the world speaking with one voice,” Nides argued, pointing out that this should be a message not just to Russia, but “other people out there in the world who are thinking of doing bad things,” specifically Iran and China, according to the Times of Israel.
America’s enemies are “seeing that the world can rally together to stop atrocities,” Nides argued. Though sanctions are “not going to stop Putin from killing a lot of people, but the implications on Russia and on the Russian people are going to be significant, and our enemies will watch very carefully as we proceed,” he claimed.
A lifelong Democrat and former Morgan Stanley banker, Nides worked in the Obama administration as a deputy for management and resources to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a decade ago. He was nominated by President Joe Biden in June and confirmed in December.
The US has echoed Kiev’s accusation that Russia launched an “unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine last week. Announcing the start of the military incursion, Putin said its objective was to demilitarize and “denazify” the government of Ukraine that was committing “genocide” in the breakaway republics of the Donbass.
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