Carney suggests Moscow behind leaked Ukraine call

The White House is suggesting that Moscow is behind a leaked phone call in which a top U.S. official can be heard saying “f–k the EU.”

In the call, which was anonymously posted on YouTube, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt lay out their desired outcome for the crisis in Ukraine and accuse the European Union of not doing enough. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the Russians tweeted out a link to the leaked recording, suggesting they were involved.

{mosads}”The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government,” Carney said. “I think it says something about Russia’s role.”

He stopped short of directly saying Russia was responsible for intercepting the call, however.

And State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki accused Russia of reaching “a new low.” 

“Certainly we think this is a new low in Russian trade-craft in terms of publicizing, posting,” she said. “I don’t have any other independent details about the origin of the YouTube video. You’re right. This clearly happened overnight and is relatively new. But this is something they’ve been actively promoting, posting on, tweeting about. And certainly we feel that represents a new low.”

Carney wouldn’t comment on the salty language used by Nuland, who is the top official in charge of European affairs at the State Department. He said relations with the EU are “stronger than ever.”

“I think that Assistant Secretary Nuland has been in contact with her EU counterparts, and relations with the EU are stronger than ever,” Carney said. “And there’s no question that we are working, Assistant Secretary Nuland, who has a lot of experience in this area, and our ambassador in Ukraine, with the opposition and with the government, to try to help de-escalate the crisis.”

Carney denied the U.S. was trying to dictate the political outcome in Ukraine. Protesters are demanding the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych after he turned down an association agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia, and Nuland and Pyatt can be heard debating how to get their preferred opposition leaders in power.

“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,” Carney said. “Ultimately, it’s up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future.”

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