• US denies rift with EU over Ukraine policy

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    WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday (Saturday in Manila) denied it was at odds with the EU over how to end the crisis in Ukraine, despite a second leaked tape suggesting serious differences between the allies. The EU has refused to be drawn over initial remarks by the top US envoy to Europe, Victoria Nuland, in which she apparently hurls an expletive at the European body during a private chat with the US ambassador to Kiev. But the woes were compounded when a second tape emerged on Friday, this time apparently of a conversation between two EU officials angered by earlier US comments over their moves to resolve Ukraine’s political upheaval. Asked if she believed whether the two incidents revealed a deep rift between the US and EU, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said: “We do not.” The US State Department said Nuland had apologized for her remarks and pointed the finger at Moscow as being responsible for the bugging but German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted on the incident sharply. Merkel’s spokesman said “the chancellor considers this statement absolutely unacceptable . . . and wants to emphasize again that Ashton is doing an outstanding job.”
    AFP

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