Victoria Nuland: America’s riot-diplomat — Spiegel (English)

By Matthias Gebauer und Holger Stark
February 10, 2015

Victoria Nuland: A clear opinion on what needs to be done in Ukraine

“Fuck the EU” – Victoria Nuland can be very direct. For the US government’s diplomat to negotiate in Ukraine crisis with Europe. At the Munich Security Conference but they drew another irritation.

Victoria Nuland is in Washington in front of an azure video screen of the Brookings Institution [her husband Robert Kagan is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution] and wants to say a few basic sentences on Ukraine crisis. “We have to help Ukraine to stop the blood loss,” she says. Even with deadly weapons? Nuland speaks of “defensive” measures and makes only just before stop, to press for the delivery of heavy weapons to the government in Kiev.

Nuland has a very direct way, you can focus on entertaining, but also be undiplomatic -. For a diplomat these are dangerous properties.

The 53-year-old is the European representative of the US government, it is the United States pass through Ukraine crisis and solve the problems with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But in the crisis Nuland has itself become a problem.

Last Friday the American woman of their delegation to the Munich Security Conference gave an internal briefing. She was on the sixth floor of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. In the room were perhaps two dozen US diplomats and senators. Especially the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen had spoken publicly that arms sales could act as an accelerant in eastern Ukraine. The Americans were angry.

Nuland is supposed to have given the line: “We can fight against the Europeans, rhetorically fight them,” she said, according to the newspaper “Bild”.

Nuland called the journey of the Chancellor [Merkel] to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the report says, “Merkel Moscow stuff”. The atmosphere heated up, one of the senators spoke evilly of von der Leyen (“defeatist-Minister”), the term “Moscow bullshit” of the Europeans fell probably, too.

The top diplomat Nuland is considered conservative. In the case of an election victory of the Republicans in the coming year she will be considered a potential new Foreign Minister. She is married to Robert Kagan, a conservative thinker. He published last year a text, why America must remain the undisputed leading power in the world.

In Ukraine crisis Nuland is considered hardliner and follower of arms sales – unlike their President Barack Obama she has a clear opinion on what needs to be done.

Stroke of luck and burden for Obama

Nuland was on the US embassies in Moscow and Beijing, as a diplomat in NATO, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Washington. But no country fascinates her as much as Russia. She loves this country, she once said. Nuland speaks Russian fluently. As the “most important memory of her career” is the top diplomat day in August 1991, when it cooperated with 250,000 people in front of the Kremlin in Moscow confessed “and said no to the counter-revolution”. Victoria Nuland has therefore also made the fight against the forces of darkness in the former Russian Empire in the center of her career.

It is therefore a godsend and a burden at the same time for Obama. She made headlines after the Munich Security Conference last year. At that time she flew from Munich to Prague and Cyprus to Kiev, and on the way she called Geoffrey Pyatt, the American ambassador to Ukraine. Nuland renounced specific safety procedures and using her normal mobile phone. So the conversation was unencrypted.

On the evening of February 4, 2014 appeared on YouTube on a recording of four minutes and eleven seconds. The conversation between the two top diplomats gave a rare glimpse into the world of American diplomacy. At the end of the call Nuland said on a proposal by the US government, which was to outmaneuver the hesitant Europeans, and it has made world famous. Shortly before she had spoken with the United Nations, the United Nations should engage in Ukraine and send a messenger to the EU which would not have much to say. “That would be great, I think, to help things move, the UN would move things,” Nuland said and added: “. Fuck the EU”

“Absolutely unacceptable” were the words that the Chancellor was at that time aligned – an unusually sharp reaction. In the days that followed Nuland had to apologize. As a token of apology, she appeared in the next round with a homemade button “. I love the EU”

Now, for the second time Nuland’s derogatory statements have leaked out that were not meant for the public. The Germans were irritated, after all, the American had, at the meeting with German Minister Merkel, praised the initiative to defuse crisis in Ukraine.

The day after the report in the newspaper “Bild” Nuland wanted nothing more to do with the statements then. Rather, she was a fan of the diplomacy initiative of the German Chancellor. “In the public and internally all of us have, myself included, supported the diplomacy,” she said to the US newspaper “Wall Street Journal”, “and we have worked side by side with them.”


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