BEIRUT

Middle East

U.S. sees Russian hand in envoy’s bugged call

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych, left, greets U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014. The senior U.S. diplomat has arrived in the Ukrainian capital to try to help find a resolution to the protests and political crisis that have gripped the country for more than two months. Nuland is on a two day visit to Kiev. (AP Photo / Mykhailo Markiv, Pool)

WASHINGTON: U.S. officials say they suspect Russia is behind a leak of an apparently bugged phone conversation between two senior American diplomats in which they make disparaging comments about the European Union.

The officials noted that a Russian assistant deputy prime minister was among the first to tweet about a YouTube video that contains audio of the alleged call between the top U.S. diplomat for Europe and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed to the tweet but declined to comment on the source of the audio.

Voices resembling those of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the envoy discuss Ukraine. At one point, the Nuland voice says “F--- the EU,” describing her frustration over international efforts to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 07, 2014, on page 11.

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