German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the start of a weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on February 5, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed outrage Friday over a leaked conversation in which a top U.S. diplomat used the f-word to disparage the European Union's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.The leaked phone call hinted strongly at Washington's mounting frustration with the Europeans' handling of Ukraine's worst political crisis since its independence in 1991 .In the recordings, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Washington's Kiev ambassador frankly discuss which opposition figures should go into the new Ukrainian government – comments that play directly into Russia's charges of Western meddling in its neighbor's affairs. The Russian aide's tweet of Nuland's private remarks came on the heels of unusually blunt charges by a top Putin adviser of Washington supplying funding and ammunition to the Kiev protesters.Nuland Friday dismissed the Kremlin aide's charges as "consummate fantasy". Yanukovych was expected to discuss with Putin the fate of a $15-billion bailout package whose delivery has been effectively frozen pending his decision on a new government.
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