Russia denies role in Nuland call leak which revealed US role in Ukraine
Dmitry Loskutov said that he was browsing the Internet when he saw the video, in which the top US diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, disparages the European Union on his "friend's feed in a social network".
Loskutov, an aide to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that his decision to repost the video had no connection to his work for the Russian government.
The Russian official posted a link on Twitter which he said proved that another anonymous user had posted the video on Wednesday, the day before he did.
"I think you're better off asking the titushki (about the origins of the video)," he said, using the word that Ukrainian protesters have used to describe violent, government-paid thugs who are meant to delegitimize the protest movement.
Rogozin, Loskutov's boss, was unavailable for comment but posted an indirect but vociferous response to American accusations online on Friday.
"While the westerners weave little intrigues and get into scandals, Russia is helping the regions of Ukraine restore lost connections with our industries," he wrote on the blogging platform Twitlonger on Friday morning ahead of a meeting with Ukrainian industrialists.
"Maybe then there will be fewer unemployed and embittered people to organize riots in their own cities with foreign money," Rogozin said.
In the video, voices resembling those of Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine discuss international efforts to resolve Ukraine's ongoing political crisis. At one point, the Nuland voice suggests that the EU's position should be ignored. "F--- the EU," the female voice said.
Washington's top diplomat for Europe Victoria Nuland declined on Friday to comment on a leaked phone conversation in which she apparently used the f-word regarding the European Union's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
"I will not comment on a private diplomatic conversation," Nuland told reporters in Kiev after talks with the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovych.
The European Union was frustrated with the United States over suggestions that the bloc was not being aggressive enough in Ukraine, according to a leaked telephone conversation involving allegedly EU diplomat Helga Schmid and posted on YouTube.
"What really aggravates us (is) that the Americans are going around and pillorying the EU and saying that we are too soft," Schmid, the deputy secretary general of the EU's diplomatic corps, can be heard saying in German.
She was reportedly speaking with Jan Tombinski, the EU's ambassador to Ukraine.
Schmid asks him to tell the US ambassador that "we are absolutely not soft," noting the EU "just doesn't shout from the rooftops because that is much more effective."
Schmid says that Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat, would address the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The conversation appears to have taken place last month, as Schmid mentions a January 31 EU statement as "going out now."
Spokesperson for the US Department of State Jen Psaki has stated that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland had apologized to her European counterparts for a rude statement in their address issued in the course of a conversation with the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt.
Nuland found herself implicated in the scandal after she was heard using swear words during a discussion of the events in Ukraine.
The supposed telephone conversation between Nuland and the US Ambassador in Kiev Jeffrey Payet was intercepted and
According to Psaki, Victoria Nuland "contacted her counterparts in the EU and, of course, apologized for the above mentioned comment."
In the telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was discussing which one of the Ukrainian oppositionists should be appointed to the new government. Nuland, in particular, was opposed to leader of "Udar" (Blow) Vitali Klitschko's entering the government and supported the candidacy of Arseniy Yatseniuk from "Batkivshchyna" (Fatherland), to the post of Prime Minister. In this same conversation Nuland obscenely spoke about the European Union and expressed hope that the UN will help the United States to "teach a lesson to the EU." The officials also discussed the need to "seal the deal" in Ukraine as soon as possible so Russia does not benefit.
When the conversation turned to the topic of the European Union, the woman who was taken for Nuland began to use foul language. The participant of the conversation reported that one of the experts of the Department of State on Ukraine, Jeff Feltman, had allegedly persuaded UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon into sending his special envoy, Robert Serry, to Kiev. "So, that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the UN help glue it and … the EU," she said. At this point she used a swear word "F*** the ЕU".
Voice of Russia, RT, NewsRu.com, dpa, ABCNews