MOSCOW - Russia’s deputy prime minister waded into the diplomatic flap over whether his government was listening in to private conversations between top American diplomats about the future of the Ukraine on Friday.
“While they are weaving plots and get into scandals, Russia is helping Ukrainian regions to restore the lost industrial connections with our manufacturers, meaning to create thousands of work places,” Dmitry Rogozin said in a post on TwitLonger. “Maybe then there will be less angry jobless people staging violence in their own cities using money from outside. I hope so.” (Read Rogozin's comment in Russian here)
Ukraine has been gripped by mass protests that have turned violent at times since President Viktor Yanukovich spurned a trade and cooperation agreement with the European Union last November in favor of closer ties with Russia.
Rogozin’s comments came a day after U.S. officials suggested Russia was listening in on a top U.S. diplomat, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, when she made some profane comments about her European Union colleagues' slow response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Her comment about the E.U. was blunt and profane: "F*** the E.U."
Nuland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt also apparently said that opposition figure, former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, should not be in the cabinet.
"I don't think Klitsch (Klitschko) should go into the government," Nuland said in the recording, which was dated from just before January 27, according to Reuters.
Nuland arrived in Ukraine on Thursday.