Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley believes Russian President Vladimir Putin must be “ecstatic” about President Joe Biden’s first week in office.
During a Wednesday Fox News interview, Haley pointed to a series of executive orders that Biden issued regarding curtailing energy production in America as a primary reason for the Russian leader’s pleasure.
“Putin has to be pretty ecstatic right now,” Haley said. “I mean one of the things that bothered him the most was how energy independent we had become, and the idea that President Biden has already cut off the Keystone Pipeline, started banning fracking, that in itself is one thing.”
On his first day in office, Biden issued an executive order revoking the permit to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Fox Business reported that the new president also placed a 60-day hold on issuing new drilling permits on federal lands and waters, which he plans to extend to one year.
This includes fracking, which Biden said during the campaign last fall he did not oppose.
My interview this morning discussing Russia, China, the UN, and 2024. https://t.co/7lm1kv9psr
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 27, 2021
The United States was the top oil producer in the world in 2019, followed by Saudi Arabia, Russia and Canada, according to Investopedia.
The U.S. has been the leader for the past six years.
The Institute for Energy Research reported last May that America became energy independent in 2019 for the first time since 1957, producing more energy than it consumed.
Russia’s economy is highly dependent on oil and natural gas exports. If the world oil supply were to decrease due to the U.S. producing less in the years ahead, that would likely drive up prices and benefit Moscow.
“Oil and gas are responsible for more than 60% of Russia’s exports and provide more than 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP),” according to Investopedia.
“The effect of the 2014 oil price collapse on Russia’s economy was fast and devastating. Between June and December 2014, the Russian ruble declined in value by 59% relative to the U.S. dollar.”
CNBC reported in January 2019 that the U.S. and Russia were battling over Europe’s natural gas market and added the following year that a top U.S. energy official said Russia was “fearful” of the American competition.
The U.S. became a net natural gas exporter in 2017 under Trump for the first time in almost 60 years.
Russia is Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas. Moscow has used this position of dominance to threaten nations that disagree with its actions, such as Ukraine.
Haley also hit Biden for agreeing to enter the new START Treaty with Russia.
Politico reported, “Formally called the ‘New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty,’ the agreement limits Washington and Moscow’s deployed nuclear weapons to 1,550 each. It was signed in 2010, entered force on February 5, 2011 and was set to expire on its 10th anniversary.”
“That fact that Biden is jumping back into the new START agreement, but not even jumping back in, doing it for five years. That’s something that gave Russia a lot of advantage,” Haley said. “It never included China in it, which is something President Trump was trying to do.”
“I mean it’s a good first week for Russia right now,” she added.
Dr. James Carafano, a national security expert with The Heritage Foundation, agrees that Biden has gotten off to a “weak start” in relation to Putin’s Russia.
“The Russians never appreciate when you give them something for nothing. They think you are a fool or hiding something,” Carafano said in an emailed statement to The Western Journal.
“So when the incoming administration basically gifts to Putin walking in the door it does put the U.S. in a weakened position. It’s not a death blow — but it’s a weak start.”
Haley suggested that Biden is not thinking strategically in these early moves.
“What Biden’s showing is he’s more interested in just reversing everything President Trump did than being strategic in how we keep America strong going forward,” she said.
She pointed to the new president’s plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which the Trump administration began the U.S. formal withdrawal from in 2019.
“Why wouldn’t you say, ‘We will rejoin the Paris climate agreement when China and India start to hold back on their emissions, like the United States is being required to do.’ Why do they get to wait 10 years?” Haley asked.
In October 2019, Trump said that he was elected to “represent the people of Pittsburgh, not the people of Paris.”
“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” he added, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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