State Department Official: ‘F — the EU’

The comment came during a private conversation that’s gone viral.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (L) and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Payette in the Independence Square in Kiev.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
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Jordain Carney
Feb. 6, 2014, 9:16 a.m.

A seni­or State De­part­ment of­fi­cial, and former spokes­per­son, has some choice words for her European coun­ter­parts: “Fuck the EU.”

Those com­ments came dur­ing 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 the Ukraine. The con­ver­sa­tion was up­loaded by You­Tube by “Maidan Pup­pets”; 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 EU,” 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.

Nu­land said she be­lieved Vi­tali Klitsch­ko, an op­pos­i­tion lead­er, shouldn’t go in­to the gov­ern­ment, adding, “I don’t think it’s ne­ces­sary. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Klitsch­ko was offered the deputy prime min­is­ter’s job late last month. He re­fused the deal.

“The Klitsch­ko piece is ob­vi­ously the com­plic­ated elec­tron here, es­pe­cially the an­nounce­ment of him as deputy prime min­is­ter, and you’ve seen some of my notes on the troubles in the mar­riage,” Py­att said.

In­stead, Nu­land presses for Ar­sen­iy Yat­seny­uk, an­oth­er op­pos­i­tion lead­er, say­ing he is “the guy who has the eco­nom­ic ex­per­i­ence, the [gov­ern­ing] ex­per­i­ence.”

She ad­ded that Klitsch­ko work­ing for Ya­nukovych wouldn’t work out.

The two also say Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden be brought in “for an at­ta boy, and get the deets to stick.”

A spokes­per­son for the U.S. Em­bassy in Kiev told the Kiev Post, which first re­por­ted the leak, that Nu­land might ad­dress the phone call dur­ing a press con­fer­ence Fri­day. They didn’t con­firm that Nu­land is the wo­man in the call.

White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney was asked about the leaked call dur­ing Thursday’s daily brief­ing.

“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,” he said, not com­ment­ing on the word choice in the leaked call, The Hill re­ports.

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