Monday Dec 5, 2022
Monday Dec 5, 2022

New US envoy to UN gets red carpet welcome from Russia

2021 Feb 25, 11:23,
United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool)

Linda Thomas-Greenfield takes up her post as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday and a senior Russian diplomat said the red carpet will be rolled out and Moscow is ready to work with the Biden administration -- but “it takes two to tango.”

After being sworn in on Wednesday by Vice President Camala Harris, Thomas-Greenfield headed to New York where she is scheduled to present her credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Thursday afternoon.

She will be jumping right into her new job, tackling global peace and security issues with Russia, China and a dozen other countries because the United States takes over the rotating presidency of the powerful U.N. Security Council on Monday. And she might even decide to attend a council meeting on Friday.

“We are looking forward to interactions with her,” Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told a group of reporters Wednesday. “You can count on our most favorable attitudes and positive emotions towards her as a member of our Security Council family.”

Noting Thomas-Greenfield’s decades as a U.S. diplomat, he said “it’s always easier to interact with professionals.”

But he said America’s view that Russia is “an enemy” and a “threat” hasn’t changed under Biden, so “it’s very difficult to imagine how the interaction with us might change with such starting points of the positions of the new administration.”

Nonetheless, Polyansky said, “there are a lot of things Russia and the United States can do together” and “we will judge the new administration by what it does.”

“We’re in favor of cooperation,” he said. But “it takes two to tango, and really we’re ready to dance, but we need a good and reliable partner who knows all the moves and who respects us” as a country with certain positions, “doesn’t view us as a threat” and sees “our obvious national interests in many issues.”

Thomas-Greenfield, a retired 35-year veteran of the U.S. foreign service who rose to be assistant secretary of state for Africa, resigned during the Trump administration. She will be the third African-American, and the second African-American woman, to hold the U.N. post.

Her confirmation on Tuesday was hailed by Democrats and advocates of the United Nations who had lamented former President Donald Trump’s “America First” unilateral approach to international affairs and rejoiced at President Joe Biden’s return to multilateralism.

At the Senate hearing on her nomination, Thomas-Greenfield called China “a strategic adversary” that threatens the world, and called a speech she gave in 2019 that praised China’s initiatives in Africa but made no mention of its human rights abuses a mistake.

Source: RSS/AP

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