German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed intense anger despite efforts by a U.S. diplomat to appease her regarding the leaked telephone call in which U.S. Assistant Secretary of State is overheard using profanity when discussing the possibility of the new Ukrainian government being backed by the European Union (EU). The telephone call is believed to have been leaked by the Russians via the Kremlin, according to Reuters, Feb. 7, 2014.
Western allies have described the leaks as being very similar to those that used to emanate from the Kremlin during the Cold War. The presumed motive for leaking the phone conversation was a desire to create dissension among the Western allies and to embarrass the opposition in the Ukraine while calling their credibility into question.
United States officials did not challenge the legitimacy of the leaked phone call. In addition, Nuland did apologize to the EU for her comments. But despite this, Merkel was not satisfied and remained very angry over Nuland's comments.
Merkel's dire also had been raised when she learned that U.S. officials had bugged her phone. The Russian leak of Nuland's phone conversation simply added fuel to the fire. U.S. German relations appear to be on thin ice and may remain there for quite some time.