Diplomatic Fallout: Why Nuland, U.S. Prefer U.N. to EU in Ukraine

Diplomatic Fallout: Why Nuland, U.S. Prefer U.N. to EU in Ukraine

It was the “f**k” heard round the world. But did anyone truly grasp what the expletive really meant?

Foreign affairs specialists snickered last week as an unknown source released a recording of Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs at the U.S. State Department, saying, “F**k the EU.” Nuland used the expletive during a phone discussion of potential arrangements for overseeing a political transition in Ukraine, which has been in turmoil since its government rejected an economic deal with Brussels under Russian pressure last year. European Union officials including the bloc’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton have been doing their best to try to handle the chaos.

Speaking to the American ambassador in Kiev in a phone call that was later leaked online, Nuland observed that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon could play a greater role in the crisis. She noted that Ban was willing to deploy his envoy Robert Serry, a Dutch diplomat who has been serving with the U.N. in the Middle East, to “glue” together a political settlement involving Ukraine’s rivalry-prone opposition leaders. This, she thought, would be “great” and—cue the F-word—might cut the EU out of the crisis.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review