Vladimir Putin’s remark about “taking Kiev in two weeks” was taken out of context and its meaning was distorted, Moscow said, adding that it’s ready to publish the president’s conversation with the European Commission head.
Moscow may reveal the full recording of the controversial phone
call if European Commission president, Jose Manual Barroso,
doesn’t object in the next two days, Russia's permanent
representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said.
La Repubblica newspaper earlier reported that outgoing European Commission president, Jose Manual Barroso, disclosed the content of his telephone conversation with the Russian president before the EU summit, which took place in Berlin at the weekend.
According to the Italian daily, Barroso quoted Putin as saying: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks” after the issue of the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine was raised.
The EU official said that it was a “threat” by the head of the Russian state, which may be fulfilled in case of further European sanctions against Russia.
Presidential aide, Yury Ushakov, stressed that whether these words concerning Russian troops taking Kiev were pronounced by Putin or not, “this quote was taken out of context and had a very different meaning.”
Ushakov slammed Barroso for even sharing the details of a high-level phone call, saying that the EU Commission president’s behavior is “incorrect and goes beyond the bounds of diplomatic practices.”
“If that was really done, it is not worthy of a serious political figure,” he added.
Barroso, who has headed the European Commission since 2004, will be replaced at the helm of the EU’s executive branch by Luxembourg's former prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Relations between Russia and Western countries have deteriorated over the situation in Ukraine.
Moscow is being accused of escalating the conflict by supporting
the rebel forces in Ukraine’s southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk
The allegations, repeatedly denied by the Russian side, have never been backed up with any proof.
In late August, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sounded the alarm over the presence of Russian troops in the country.
Moscow refuted his claims, with OSCE observers saying that they had not seen any Russian military presence around the Ukrainian border.
The EU and the US have already imposed sanctions against dozens of senior Russian officials, companies and banks.
Russia responded by banning imported agricultural products from the US, EU, Norway, Canada, and Australia.
The one-year embargo introduced on August 7 applies to meat, pork, fish, fruits, vegetables and dairy products.