White House implicates Russia in leaked call between US diplomats

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 6, 2014 


A protester puts a gas mask on a young woman behind a barricade on Grushevsky Street in downtwon Kiev during clashes with riot police on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

SERGEI L. LOIKO — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Vice President Joe Biden has talked several times by phone with Ukrainian officials in hopes of resolving the current crisis there -- but it's a leaked private telephone call between two top U.S. diplomats that's causing a stir.

The conversation between Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, was first reported by the Kyiv Post, which said "the woman, who sounds like Nuland, can be heard on the recording saying 'f#*& the EU,' " referring to the European Union.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney referred most of the questions to the State Department, but noted that the conversation "was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government.

"I think it says something about Russia's role," Carney said of the appearance of the leaked remarks. "But the content of the conversation is not something I'm going to comment on."

Carney said relations between the US and the EU are “stronger than ever” and said there was "no question" that Nuland and the ambassador are trying to "help de-escalate the crisis” in Ukraine.

“It's certainly no secret that our ambassador and assistant secretary have been working with the government of Ukraine, with the opposition, with business and civil society leaders to support their efforts to find a peaceful solution through dialogue and political and economic reform,” Carney said. “Ultimately, it's up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future.”


McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service