When it comes to Russia and the G7, U.S ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison seems to disagree with her boss.
Last week President Donald Trump called for Russia to be readmitted to the G7, saying “I think it would be an asset to have Russia back in.” But speaking at Fortune‘s MPW International Summit in London on Tuesday, Hutchison said, “I don’t think we ought to go back to business as usual with Russia.”
She noted that Russia was suspended from the group when it invaded Crimea and that relations shouldn’t return to normal “until they change their behavior in some way that shows they might want to be part of a rules-based concept in the world.”
Hutchison also discussed Russia as a threat, saying that it was attempting to divide the NATO alliance through activities such as cyber warfare. “We are fighting back to say we are united, and we are going to stand for our democratic rules,” she said. “But Russia is probing where we are weak.”
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Hutchison said that the tensions coming out of the G7 meeting have not impacted her relationships with her fellow ambassadors.
“The ambassadors are very professional, and even if they’re in disagreement with our president, we all get along,” she said. She said they try to stay focused on the “security umbrella that we are”—what she described as the “greatest military alliance in the history of the world.” The nations might be in disagreement on trade and the Iran agreement, but “we are united on our security issues.”
She told the audience that on Monday she walked over to the Canadian ambassador, who is one of her best friends, and “just hugged her and said we’re going to get through this.”
Hutchison noted that Tuesday was “a big day” in regards to the agreement signed by Trump and Kim Jong Un: “The agreement that was signed today acknowledges by both sides that they want a Korea, the whole peninsula, to be nuclear free.”
Hutchison explained that there still has to be a negotiation over the details of how denuclearization is actually accomplished, but that it was a “major step and the farthest we’ve ever gone with North Korea.”
When asked about Trump’s diplomatic tactics, she said, “We could all agree that he’s unpredictable, and you don’t know what his strategy is. Sometimes it comes out, and sometimes you’re not sure.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Hutchison’s last name.