US red-faced over top diplomat cursing EU for Ukraine crisis
KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) - The United States tried to contain fallout from a leaked phone conversation in which a top diplomat uses the f-word regarding the European Union's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.
The embarrassing diplomatic incident comes as Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was due to hold crisis talks with Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on Friday.
Washington and Brussels have engaged in a diplomatic standoff with Kiev and Moscow over mass protests that erupted in Ukraine in November when Mr Yanukovych rejected a pact with the EU in favour of closer ties with former Soviet master Russia.
But the leaked phone call appears to reveal US frustration with the EU over the handling of the long-running crisis.