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US Diplomat Victoria Nuland Apologizes Over EU Ukraine ‘Insult’

( [email protected] ) Feb 08, 2014 03:07 AM EST
LONDON - Victoria Nuland, a senior U.S. State Department official, has apologized to the European Union following using an expletive whilst discussing the EU's diplomatic task in Ukraine's political conflict. Her argumentative comment emerged as an Internet video of an intercepted call. Henry Ridgwell states for VOA from London.
U.S. senior official Victoria Nuland (Reuters)

LONDON - Victoria Nuland, a senior U.S. State Department official, has apologized to the European Union following using an expletive whilst discussing the EU's diplomatic task in Ukraine's political conflict. Her argumentative comment emerged as an Internet video of an intercepted call. Henry Ridgwell states for VOA from London.

Nuland was in Ukraine this week to join opposition figures as well as President Viktor Yanukovych, as the standoff there amid the government and protesters continues.

She has apologised after she referred opposingly to the EU's role throughout a discussion said to be with the US diplomat to Ukraine.

A recording of the conversation was posted online, with the United States suggesting at Russia's involvement in badgering and leaking it.

In Ukraine, to end months of unrest, the US  and EU involved in talks.

In Kiev, she said she would not make a statement to the public on the matter.

She characterized the leak as "pretty impressive tradecraft. [The] audio quality was very good".

The state department stated Nuland had apologized in private to officials of European Union.

Nuland mocked at the EU's position to her comrade, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a  call that was possibly bugged and posted online.

"... that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the U.N. help glue it, and, you know, [expletive - beeped out] the EU," she said.

The male answers: "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."

The two people also talk about their dealings with Ukraine's three main opposition leaders - Oleh Tyahnybok, Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatseniuk - their tries to support them to work together.

On the other hand, the female speaker states that the former heavyweight boxing world champion Mr Klitschko must not be in any latest government. "I don't think it's a good idea."

She adds: "I think Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk] is the guy who's got the economic experience."

US officials denied to confirm or refuse the tape's authenticity and EU officials declined to comment.

The assistant secretary of state apologized to the European Union but refused to answer reporters' questions on the call. She did nonetheless, describe the apparent bugging as "pretty good tradecraft."

As a response to the leaked notes, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister, said Nuland's remark on the behavior of Europeans is improper. He added that there is no space for criticisms about their conduct regarding Ukraine. Theirr attitude is very cautious and well thought. There is room for discussion about sanctions, and they are carrying these discussions on.

After President Yanukovych abandoned a trade deal with the EU, the protests in Ukraine burst in November, choosing as an alternative to sign a loan and energy agreement with Russia.

It is said that Russia intercepted the phone call.

Moscow denies bugging the communication, however. Analysts say the disclosure will do little to develop the already cold relations between the West and the Kremlin.