Washington is accusing Russia of leaking a recorded phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and what the recording says is U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. Nuland says “f--k the EU” while discussing the political situation in Ukraine.
The leaked phone call surfaced on Thursday and it can be heard on a YouTube post that has a Russian title translating to “Maidan’s Puppets.” Maidan is a word for “square” and the protest movement as a whole is being called Euromaidan, after the square where protests began in November.
In the call, Nuland says she doesn’t think opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko is fit for a major government position but that opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk “is the guy who’s got the economic experience.”
Nuland curses in regard to a solution in Ukraine without the EU’s help. She proposes that the United Nations could help mediate between the opposition and the established government. Nuland says Rober Serry, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, has agreed to meet in order to help “glue this thing together.”
A Kremlin aide said Moscow may attempt to block U.S. “interference” in Ukrainian politics, Reuters reports. Nuland and Pyatt anticipate Moscow interference in the call. “You can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude, the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it,” Nuland said.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the leak of the phone call “a new low in Russian trade-craft” and did not deny the authenticity of the call. Nuland has since apologized and has been in contact with the EU over the comments. She most recently toured Ukraine in December, before protests had become violent. The entire conversation can heard below: