Victoria Nuland is the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States. And, thanks to a leaked phone conversation during which she says, "Fuck the EU," her international relationships might be a bit awkward right now. In the phone conversation, Nuland discusses a deal to end the political unrest in Ukraine with Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. The presumably private conversation was somehow recorded. The origins of the tape aren't clear. Although the State Department has declined to confirm or deny the content of the recording, the tape appears to be genuine. The conversation isn't dated, though it is recent.
The video was first picked up by the Kiev Post. The Ukrainian paper notes that Nuland's salty language seems to come from frustration with the EU's indecision over its role in the political unrest. They summarize that part of the call:
Before the call ends, Nuland tells Pyatt she has “one more wrinkle” for him.
Commenting on European pressure put on Yanukovych – or lack thereof – she explains that she has spoken to the United Nations and has gotten an official there who said that Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, agreed to send someone to Ukraine to “help glue this thing and to have the UN glue it.”
She adds: “And you know, fuck the EU.”
“Exactly,” Pyatt replies. “And I think we got to do something to make it stick together, because you can be sure that if it does start to gain altitude the Russians will be working behind the scenes to torpedo it. Let me work on Klitschko, and I think we should get a Western personality to come out here (to Ukraine) and midwife this thing,’’ he adds.
Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed Russia for the leaked conversation on Thursday afternoon, implicitly acknowledging that the recording is real. “I think it says something about Russia’s role,” Carney said, referring to his assertion that the Russians tweeted a link to the video earlier. He declined to explicitly state whether the U.S. believed Russia had taped the call or not. The State Department also blamed the Russians in comments following its non-confirmation of the tape.
Carney also assured reporters that "Assistant Secretary Nuland has been in contact with her EU counterparts, and relations with the EU are stronger than ever." Nuland is in the Ukraine today, meeting with officials there.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.