"L--- the EU" button “L— the EU” button

Loop Fans may recall a decidedly undiplomatic comment last month by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland when discussing Ukraine’s political and economic crisis (before the Russian invasion of Crimea) and the European Union’s efforts, which she found, well, wanting.

“F— the E.U.,” she said on a private phone conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt — a conversation that mysteriously popped up on YouTube and on a Russian-language Web site. The quality of the recording was highly professional, a solid indication that it was done by someone adept at these sorts of things, someone like the Soviets  Russians.

Nuland promptly apologized and João Vale de Almeida, the E.U.’s ambassador to Washington, graciously tweeted a lighthearted picture.

Nuland tweeted in response: “Happy valentine wishes from AssistSec Nuland too!”

Now, we’ve learned, Nuland had a bunch of buttons made up that say “L*** the EU. She’s since been handing them out to diplomats and visitors — even gave us a couple. In fact, it seems they are much sought-after by European  officials gathering this week in The Netherlands and Belgium, where she served as ambassador to NATO during the Bush administration.

Goes to show you, there’s no miscue that can’t be worked out.

This video appears to feature a phone call by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Caution: Video contains profanity.