U.S. Diplomat Plays Down Leaked Call; Germany's Merkel Angry
In this article, Reuters is obviously helping to minimize the damage done by the leaked phone call. It discusses the peripheral issues, but only lightly touches on the central issue, namely that the US State Department is heavily involved in an attempt to control the Ukraine government; an attempt to impose upon the Ukrainian people a government the US considers “acceptable”. It is not Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s profanity that should be the central issue, but the strong arm tactics being used by the US in yet another example of power politics, and covert, hidden-agenda, control attempts. While publicly calling for “freedom” and “democracy” for the Ukranian people, the US State Department seeks to control events to Washington’s favor, not necessarily Ukraine’s favor. Will Ukraine be another Libya? Why aren’t our diplomats proud of what the outcome in Libya is? – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
This article comes from Reuters.
By Richard Balmforth and Natalia Zinets
(Reuters) – A top U.S. diplomat tried to play down the damage to Washington’s diplomacy in Ukraine from a leaked telephone call on Friday, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel called an obscene remark about the EU “absolutely unacceptable.”
U.S. officials blamed Moscow for the Internet leak of recordings of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador in Kiev discussing a possible future government for Ukraine, where Washington and Brussels back anti-Kremlin demonstrators.
On Friday Nuland tried to limit the diplomatic fall-out from her comment. “I am not going to comment on private diplomatic conversations. But it was pretty impressive tradecraft. The audio was extremely clear,” she told reporters during a visit to Kiev.
She said she did not foresee damage to relations with opposition leaders, saying they “know exactly where we stand in respect of a non-violent solution to the problem.”
Of relations with Russia, she said Washington and Moscow had “very deep, very broad and complex” discussions on a range of international issues including Iran and “frank and comradely discussions” on Ukraine.
Western officials described the leaks as a throwback to the cloak-and-dagger tactics of the Cold War, apparently aimed as much at sowing discord among Western allies as at discrediting the opposition in Ukraine, a country of 46 million people on the verge of bankruptcy, torn between East and West.
In the call, Nuland is heard using an expletive to tell the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, it would be better if a new Ukrainian government is backed by the United Nations than the EU. “Fuck the EU,” she says.
U.S. officials did not deny the authenticity of the recording and said Nuland apologized to EU colleagues for the comment.
Angela Merkel, already furious with Washington for several months over reports that U.S. officials bugged her own phone, found Nuland’s remarks “totally unacceptable”, a spokeswoman for the German chancellor said.
Merkel also expressed support for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who heads the bloc’s Ukraine policy.
In a separate leaked recording, an Ashton aide is overheard complaining about the United States for telling Ukrainian opposition members that Brussels was “soft” in its reluctance to impose measures such as sanctions to hurt the pro-Russian government.