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Defense

State Department Official Apologizes for E.U. Comments

And a Russian aide denied the suggestions that his government was involved.

What appears to be a private conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, left, and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Payette, center, was posted to YouTube.(SERGEY GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
February 7, 2014

A senior State Department officia—who appeared to say, "fuck the E.U.," in a leaked phone cal—has apologized to her European counterparts, a spokesperson said Thursday.

What appears to be a private conversation between Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of State for European Affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was uploaded to YouTube. It's unknown who runs the account.

"That would be great to help glue this thing and to have the U.N. help glue it. And you know, fuck the E.U.," she said, discussing bringing in U.N. official Robert Serry.

 

The two were talking about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and trying to set up a solution between the opposition and the Ukrainian government, overseen by Viktor Yanukovych.

"She's been in close contact with E.U. High Representative [Catherine] Ashton. Also, let me convey that she has been in contact with her E.U. counterparts, and of course has apologized," State Department spokewoman Jennifer Psaki said.

Psaki would neither confirm nor deny if the conversation was authentic, but she said Nuland apologized "for these reported comments."

Psaki and White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested the Russian government was somehow tied to the leak.

But Dmitry Loskutov, an aide to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, told the Associated Press he and the Russian government weren't involved in leaking the video. Loskutov posted a link to the video on his Twitter account.

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