Yesterday’s leak of the flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt has already hit the international media headlines. In short, it turned out that the US officials were coordinating their actions on how to install a puppet government in Ukraine. They agreed to nominate Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko from the game for a while and to discredit neo-Nazi Svoboda party chief Oleh Tiahnybok as “Yanukovych’s project”. Then Mrs. Nuland informed the US Ambassador that the UN Secretary General, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had already instructed Ban Ki-moon to send his special envoy to Kyiv this week “to glue things together”. Referring to the European role in managing Ukraine’s political crisis, she was matchlessly elegant: “Fuck the EU”.
In a short while, after nervious attempts to blame Russians in fabricating (!) the tape (State Department: “this is a new low in Russian tradecraft”), Mrs. Nuland made her apologies to the EU officials. Does it mean that the Washington’s repeatedly leaked genuine attitude towards the “strategic Transatlantic partnership” is more worthy of an apology than the direct and clear interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign state and violation of the US-Russia-UK agreement (1994 Budapest memorandum) on security assurances for Ukraine? Meanwhile this document inter alia reads as follows:
The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind.
Back to the latest Mrs. Nuland’s diplomatic collapse which was made public, it was unlikely an unfortunate misspelling. Andrey Akulov from Strategic Culture Foundation has published a brilliant report (Bride at every wedding, Part I and Part II) a couple of days ago describing Mrs.Nuland’s blatant lack of professionalism and personal integrity. He described in details her involvement in misinforming the US President and nation on the circumstances of the assasination of the US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in Benghazi in September 2012 and her support of the unlawful US funding of a number of the Russian “independent” NGOs seeking to bring a color revolution to Russia.
Her diplomatically unacceptable behavior regarding Ukraine, the culmination of which could be viewed on YouTube this week (video and full transcript are available below), suggests that Mrs. Nuland is perhaps the wrong person in the wrong position for protecting American interests in Eurasia.
Full transcript of the telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt (posted on YouTube on Feb 6, 2014):
Victoria Nuland (V.N.): What do you think?
Geoffrey R. Pyatt (G.P.): I think we are in play. The Klitchko piece is obviously the most complicated electron here, especially the announcement of him as Deputy Prime Minister. You have seen my notes on trouble in the marriage right now, so we are trying to get a read really fast where he is on the staff. But I think your argument to him which you’ll need to make, I think that’s the next phone call that you want to set up is exactly the one you made to Yats (Yatsenuk’s nickname). I’m glad you put him on the spot. <…> He fits in this scenario. And I am very glad he said what he said.
V.N.: Good. I don’t think Klitsch (Klitschko’s nickname) should be in the government. I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
G.P.: Yeah, I mean, I guess… In terms of him not going into the government… I’d just let him stay out and do his political homework. I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is gonna be with Tyahnibok and his guys. And, you know, I am sure that is part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all this.
V.N.: I think Yats is the guy. He has economic experience and governing experience. He is the guy. You know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnibok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think if Klitchko gets in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenuk, it’s just not gonna work…
G.P.: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s right. Ok, good. Would you like us to set up a call with him as the next step?
V.N.: My understading from that call that you tell me was that the big three were going into their own meeting and that Yats was gonna offer in this context, you know, a «three plus one» conversation or a «three plus two» conversation with you. Is that not how you understood it?
G.P.: No. I think that was what he proposed but I think that knowing the dynamic that’s been with them where Klitchko has been the top dog, he’ll show up for whatever meetings they’ve got and he’s probably talking to his guys at this point. So, I think you reaching out directly to him, helps with the personality management among the three. And it also gives you a chance to move fast on all this stuff and put us behind it, before they all sit down and he explains why he doesn’t like it.
V.N.: Ok. Good. I am happy. Why don’t you reach out to him and see if he wants to talk before or after.
G.P.: Ok, I will do it. Thanks.
V.N.: I can’t remember if I told you this or if I only told Washington this: when I talked to Jeff Feltman this morning he had a new name for the UN guy – Robert Serry. I wrote you about it this morning.
G.P.: Yeah, I saw that.
V.N.: Ok. He’s gotten now both Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry will come on Monday or Tuesday. That would be great I think to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, if you like, fuck the EU.
G.P.: No, exactly. And I think we’ve got to do something to make it stick together because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude that the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it. And again the fact that this is out there right now, I am still trying to figure out in my mind why Yanukovych <…> that. In the meantime there is a Party of Regions faction meeting going on right now and I am sure there is a lively argument going on in that group at this point. But anyway, we could land <our toast> jelly side up on this one if we move fast. So let me work on Klitschko and if you can just keep… I think we just want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.
V.N.: So on that piece, Jeff, when I wrote the note Sullivan’s come back to me V.F.R., saying you need Biden and I said probably tomorrow for an atta boy and to get the details to stick. So, Biden’s willing.
G.P.: Ok. Great, thanks.
Deputy Secretary General EE AS External Service Helga M. Schmid (H.S.) and Jan Tombinsky (J.T.), EU Ambassador to Ukraine (rendering, starting 0:04:13 on the tape):
H.S.: Jan, it’s Helga once again. I’d like to tell you one more thing, it’s confidential. The Americans are beating about the bush and saying that our stand is too soft. They believe we should be stronger and apply sanctions. I talked to Cathy (Cathrene Ashton – OR) and she agrees with us on the matter we were discussing last time. We will do it but we must arrange everything in a clever way.
J.T.: You know we have other instruments.
H.S.: The journalists are already talking that the EU stand is “too soft”. What you should really know is that we are very angry that the Americans are beating about the bush. Maybe you tell the US Ambassador and draw his attention to the fact that our stand is not soft, we’ve just made a hard-line statement and took a tougher stance… I want you to know that it would be detrimental to our interests if we see in the newspapers that «The European Union does not support freedom». Cathy will not like it.
J.T.: Helga, we do not compete in a race. We should demonstrate that this situation is not a competition in diplomatic toughness. I’ve just heard about the opposition’s new proposal to the president. I’ll write Cathy about it right now.
P.S. Awkward attempts to question the “morality” of such revelations sound especially hypocritical from a global spying power that monitors and controls most of the activities of mobile phone and internet users, taps the phone lines of world leaders, and oversees the world’s most far-reaching wire-tapping program.