US Blames Russia for Leaked F-Bomb Call

Diplomat slams EU in bugged Ukraine discussion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2014 4:42 AM CST

American diplomats have been seriously embarrassed by the release of an apparently bugged phone call in which frank comments on the Ukraine crisis are exchanged—and a speaker believed to be Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland says "F--- the EU." The US strongly suspects Russia is behind the bugging and the leaking of the phone call, which appeared on YouTube yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reports; the first to tweet about the call was reportedly an aide to Russia's deputy PM.

In the phone call, made last month, voices resembling those of Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discuss opposition leaders and ways of resolving the crisis—and Nuland makes it clear she doesn't think much of the EU's role, the AP reports. A State Department spokeswoman did not dispute the authenticity of the call, but called it "a new low in Russian tradecraft" and said Nuland had apologized to EU officials for the "reported comments," reports the BBC. "It shouldn't be a surprise that at any points there have been discussions about recent events and offers and what is happening on the ground," the spokeswoman said. (More Victoria Nuland stories.)

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