Ach ja - dann war da ja noch das hier:
EU Moves to Temper Putin 'Two Weeks to Kiev' Rowhttp://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-moves-to-temper-putin-two-weeks-to-kiev-row-1409831828
EU Official Says Comments Were Made Public Out of Context
By LAURENCE NORMAN
Sept. 4, 2014 7:57 a.m. ET
BRUSSELS—The European Union moved to dampen the latest diplomatic row with Moscow, with a spokeswoman for the bloc saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin's reported comments about sending forces into Kiev were "made public out of context."
Italian newspaper La Repubblica was the first to report that European Commission President José Manuel Barroso had told fellow leaders at Saturday's EU summit in Brussels that Mr. Putin had warned him in a telephone call the previous day Russian forces could take Kiev within two weeks if they wished.
The newspaper said that when Mr. Barroso confronted Mr. Putin in the call about Russian troop movements in Ukraine, the Russian leader immediately replied: "That's not the problem but that if I wanted to, I could take Kiev in two weeks."
Russian President Vladimir Putin said agreement with Ukraine on a path for resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine is "very close." Meanwhile, as a NATO summit begins in Wales, Russia's foreign minister said that Ukraine's ambitions to join NATO are threatening to derail the peace talks in eastern Ukraine. (Photo: AP)
The report provoked an immediate diplomatic row with a Kremlin aide sharply criticizing Mr. Barroso for breaching diplomatic protocol and misrepresenting the remarks. The row comes amid already heightened tension between Russia and the EU over the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Barroso had warned publicly last Saturday that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was headed toward a "point of no return."
Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, a spokeswoman for Mr. Barroso, said Thursday the EU has moved to address the issue "through diplomatic channels, not in the press."
"I can only add that the president of the Commission informed his colleagues in the European Council in a restricted session of the conversations he had with President Putin. Unfortunately part of his intervention was made public out of context," she said in a written response to The Wall Street Journal.
An EU official confirmed to the Journal this week that Mr. Putin had talked about his forces being able to take Kiev within two weeks in last week's telephone call. But the person said the context of the comment wasn't clear. The official said Mr. Putin may have made the comment to back up Russia's denial that it had launched an invasion of Ukraine. After the call, Mr. Barroso's put out a brief readout of the call which described the conversation as "very frank."
Russia has denied western claims that it had sent thousands of troops over the border in recent days to back the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was among those last week saying the Russian actions amounted to a new "invasion" of Ukraine.
Russian state media reported on Tuesday that the country's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, had written to Mr. Barroso saying Moscow may publish the transcript of their phone call "to remove all misunderstandings." According to ITAR TASS news agency, Mr. Chizhov said Mr. Putin's words had been "clearly taken out of context" in the remarks Mr. Barroso reportedly made.
An official at the Russia mission in the EU confirmed the letter had been sent but declined to comment on its content. He also declined to comment on whether the transcript would be published.
The two leaders have long had a checkered relationship according to diplomats and have had some sharp public exchanges at news conferences together. Mr. Barroso leaves office after 10 years at the end of October.