RFE/RL reports: Estonia’s Foreign Ministry says a leaked phone conversation between Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton is authentic.
However, in a statement on March 5 the ministry rejected a claim Paet was giving an assessment of the new Ukrainian coalition’s involvement in deadly street violence in Kyiv.
The statement said the conversation between Ashton and Paet took place February 26 after the minister returned from a visit to Kyiv.
The ministry said Paet was giving an “overview of what he had heard” in the Ukrainian capital.
During the conversation, Paet says there are suspicions in Kyiv that someone from the new coalition might have been behind snipers who shot dead “people from both sides.”
Some Russian media interpreted Paet’s remark as his confirmation of a “link between the snipers in Maidan and leaders of [the then-]opposition.”
The statement quotes Paet as saying it was “not a coincidence” the phone call was intercepted and posted on the Internet.
This is the leaked conversation between Ashton and Paet:
Paet: All the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides…
Ashton: Well that’s… yeah.. that’s…
Paet: So then she also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it’s the same handwriting…
Paet: … the same kind of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So there is stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.
Ashton: I think we want to investigate. I didn’t pick that up, it’s interesting … Gosh.
Paet: So it was — and this is disturbing — if it starts now to live its own life very powerfully, it already discredits from its very beginning this new coalition.