Top US diplomat in Europe says 'F*** the EU’ on leaked call

Obama administration suspects Russians are behind leaked recording

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich greets US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland during their meeting in Kiev yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Mykhailo Markiv

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich greets US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland during their meeting in Kiev yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Mykhailo Markiv

Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 09:46

The highest-ranking US diplomat in Europe has been caught on recorded telephone call with a US ambassador saying “F*** the EU.”

In the recording, leaked anonymously on YouTube and first reported by the Kyiv Post newspaper, voices identified as US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt are heard discussing the demonstrations in Ukraine.

The female voice, which resembles Ms Nuland’s, dismisses the EU efforts to resolve the crisis, using the expletive.

Recording of US assistant secretary of state


‘F*** the EU’
Ms Nuland suggests the possibility of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon sending an envoy to Ukraine to “help glue this thing”, adding: “And you know, f*** the EU.”

“Exactly!” Mr Pyatt is heard replying. “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.”

The Obama administration has suspected that the Russians are behind the leaked call.

“The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “I think it says something about Russia’s role.”


Ukraine opposition
The leaked call emerged as a senior adviser to Russian leader Vladimir Putin accused the US of meddling in Ukraine’s affairs by spending $20 million a week financing opposition groups in the country.

The release of the call is viewed as an attempt to undermine a joint EU-US effort to negotiate a compromise in Ukraine including the formation of a new government led by opposition figures.

Protesters took to the Kiev streets in November after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a deal aimed at strengthening ties with the EU.