Vladmir Putin supposedly told the head of the European Commission in a private phone call that "if I wanted to, I could take Kiev in two weeks," reports La Repubblica via the New York Times. The Kremlin hit back today, saying that even if Putin did say that, "this quote was taken out of context and had a very different meaning" and that it's got the full recording to prove it, reports the Itar-Tass news agency. European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso reportedly spilled the beans about the details of his Ukraine crisis conversation with Putin shortly before the EU summit in Berlin over the weekend, notes Russia Today.
Putin aide Yuri Ushakov railed on Barroso, saying that his loose lips were "incorrect and … beyond the bounds of diplomatic practice. ... If that was really done, it is not worthy of a serious political figure." The Russian envoy to the EU said today that Russia has both a written and an audio recording and that they'll be released in two days' time if Barroso doesn't "dispel any misunderstandings," according to the Times. (Read more EU stories.)