Tags: christopher hill | russia | germany | north korea | poland

Ex-Ambassador Hill: Russia 'Looks For Ways to Be Difficult'

Image: Ex-Ambassador Hill: Russia 'Looks For Ways to Be Difficult'
Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 07 Jul 2017 12:20 PM

Russia "looks for ways to be difficult with us," including with its move this week to block UN sanctions against North Korea just days before the G-20 summit opened in Germany, former Ambassador Christopher Hill said Friday.

"Every great power follows its own interests," Hill, the former ambassador to Iraq, said during MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel discussion. "I think spite is a big element in their foreign policy. I mean, they have no reason to have any kind of different view on North Korea than we do."

It is also telling that Russia and China would get behind the idea that if North Korea freezes its nuclear tests, the United States should freeze its exercises with the south Koreans, said King.

"This is a strategy basically aimed at weakening the U.S. South Korean relationship and weakening the military alliance there," said Hill, and making an effort to decouple the United States from South Korea marks a "longer-term goal here, and I think Russia and North Korea share that goal. "

Meanwhile, Trump does not understand the system of alliances and finds the concept of "collective security a pretty elusive concept," Hill said.

"Look at his speech in Poland," Hill said. "It wasn't about exhorting Poland to take a leadership role in Europe. He gave us a history lesson about Polish nationalism. Poland has done a lot helping Europe.

"Poland has participated in the concept of protecting Europe. [Trump] talked about Poland first. The problem is we have a president who does not understand the system of alliances, and relationships that have guided us for well over a century at this point."

Hill also said Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement speaks to the United States "not caring what 195 other countries seem to care about," and that adds to an appearance of not having "any professionalism in how we approach things."

Another example is with Trump's North Korea policy, Hill said.

"We have various comments made by various people, but it's really not adding up to much, and I don't think we have an agreement with China on how to go forward," he said. "We don't even have an agreement with our allies, the south Koreans on how to go forward. I think there's some real problem, and I think it really lands on the president's desk. I think he has trouble understanding this."

Meanwhile, Hill said members of the G-20, and particularly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, would like to see the United States be softer on the climate, and want to see that Trump can provide leadership.

"This has always been a dilemma for Europeans," Hill said. "They don't like the U.S. to boss them around, except that they get very nervous when they say the U.S. is shrinking over to the side and is apparently disinterested . . . [Merkel is] becoming the leader of the free world, and I'm not so sure that's how she wants it to play out."

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Russia "looks for ways to be difficult with us," including with its move this week to block UN sanctions against North Korea just days before the G-20 summit opened in Germany, former Ambassador Christopher Hill said Friday.
christopher hill, russia, germany, north korea, poland
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2017-20-07
Friday, 07 Jul 2017 12:20 PM
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