Top U.S. Official Victoria Nuland Curses The European Union During Ukraine Crisis Talks
A top U.S. official had some harsh words for the European Union during international talks to mediate the crisis in Ukraine. In a leaked recording of the conversation, a voice said to belong to Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, can be heard telling a U.S. Ambassador, "f*** the EU." Nuland talks about the United Nations helping to solve issues between the Ukrainian government and opposition before matter-of-factly dropping the expletive.
The exchange between Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, was recorded and posted to YouTube along with Russian subtitles. Ukraine has been subject to ongoing political turmoil, which is at the center of their discussion, along with President Viktor Yanukovych's previous offers to make to make opposition leaders the new prime minister and deputy prime minister. While talking about U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's forthcoming appointment, Nuland suggests help from the U.N. would be preferable (to put it nicely).
"That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the U.N. glue it and you know, fuck the EU," she says.
"Exactly. And I think we've got to do something to make it stick together, because 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," Pyatt says in response.
Though the origins of the audio are still undetermined, the recording made its rounds on the Internet. Dmitry Rogozin, an aide to Russian Deputy Prime Minister shared it on Twitter, writing, "Sort of controversial judgment from Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland speaking about the EU."
International officials weren't too happy with Nuland's comments, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said she thought it was "totally unacceptable." State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Nuland apologized to her EU counterparts but she, along with White House spokesman Jay Carney, seem to be turning the blame on Russia. (Shocker.) In a damage control attempt, the two emphasize the country's involvement in the leak. Psaki stresses that it was a private conversation and calls it "a new low in Russian tradecraft."
"The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government; I think it says something about Russia's role," Carney says.
We'd love to hear what other curses are being thrown around between top diplomats — maybe the NSA can help us out?