- 4 updates
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped into a diplomatic row that began when a senior US official was secretly recorded insulting the European Union.
Victoria Nuland swore about the EU during a conversation with the US Ambassador to Ukraine.
The exchange was apparently bugged and has since been posted online, with the Americans blaming the Russians.
ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at Washington today, following the leaking of an alleged call between two senior US diplomats.
The US state department spokeswoman said the assistant secretary of state Victoria Newland apologised for the call, following reports she said "F*** the EU" during a bugged, leaked call.
Merkel's spokeswoman said the reported comments were "absolutely unacceptable" in a statement today.
"The chancellor considers this statement absolutely unacceptable ... and wants to emphasise again that (EU foreign policy chief Catherine) Ashton is doing an outstanding job.
"The European Union will continue with its intensive efforts to calm the situation in Ukraine."
The United States has accused Russia of bugging and leaking a phone conversation on the crisis in Ukraine between two of their diplomats.
The call was first referred to by an aid to the Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin on Twitter.
The call, during which a female voice thought to be assistant secretary of state Victoria Newland says "F*** the EU", was posted on YouTube. The video shows pictures Nuland and the ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. White House spokesman Jay Carney said:
The US state department spokeswoman said the top US diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland has apologised for reported comments made during what appears to be a leaked phone conversation.
In the audio, reportedly between Nuland and the US ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, a man and woman are heard discussing international efforts to resolve the crisis in the Ukraine. At one point the woman declares: "F*** the EU."
Despite not actually confirming that the voice was that of Victoria Nuland, the spokeswoman said Nuland "has been in contact with her EU counterparts and of course has apologised for these reported comments”.