The Estonian foreign affairs minister allegedly told the European Union foreign affairs chief last week about a claim that leaders from Ukraine’s opposition were behind the sniper fire that led to the deaths of more than 70 of their supporters, according to an purported phone conversation uploaded to YouTube Tuesday.
Urmas Paet confirmed the recording of his conversation with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, according to the Russian RIA-Novosti news agency, telling reporters that the recording was authentic. In his phone conversation with Ashton, Paet said he received information that the snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were hired by leaders in Independence Square.
In the alleged recording Paet says: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”
“I think we do want to investigate,” Ashton replies, seeming surprised at what Paet was saying. “I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh.”
Paet told the news agency that he spoke with Ashton last week and did not directly comment on the conversation, saying he would need to listen to it again.
“It’s very disappointing that such surveillance took place altogether. It’s not a coincidence that this conversation was uploaded [to the web] today,” he said.
Paet visited Ukraine on Feb. 25 after the rioting and sniper fire led to dozens of deaths and injured hundreds more in the nation’s capital of Kiev the weekend prior.
A European Union official in Brussels told TheBlaze that they “do not comment on the leaked alleged phone conversations.”
“Apart from that, the EU have repeatedly requested independent investigation into the violence and killings and that those responsible should be brought to justice,” the official said.
Similar leaked phone call tactics were used in early February, when U.S. officials accused Russian intelligence of intercepting a private phone conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as they were planning to broker a deal between the Ukrainian government and the opposition. In the conversation, Nuland was heard saying, “f*** the EU.”
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