An alleged recording of two “Russian ambassadors” posted online is a “compilation of sounds, subtitles and photos” which was cynically cooked up to distract attention from recent scandals, a source in Russia’s Foreign Ministry told RT.
“It is impossible to comment on some compilation of sounds, subtitles and photos, which also include [a picture of] an outstanding Russian ambassador, Yury Dubinin, who unfortunately departed this life in 2013,” a source in the ministry’s press service told RT when asked to comment on the “leaked conversation” which appeared on YouTube. “[This is] a brutally and cynically cooked up story made in haste that gives out a clumsy attempt to divert attention from the recent public scandals over the statements by Western diplomats on Ukraine.”
The comments are in response to a recording that surfaced online. Made to look like a leaked phone conversation, it was claimed to be a private talk between two Russian ambassadors – envoy to Eritrea, Igor Chubarov, and his counterpart in Zimbabwe and Malawi, Sergey Bakharev.
In the beginning, there is a five-minute recording of two male
voices discussing Crimea. The first voive, labeled as
“Chubarov” in subtitles, congratulates the other person
on the fact that Zimbabwe (“your country,” he says)
“demonstrated very right understanding about the situation in
Ukraine.” Zimbabwe was one of 11 countries which voted
against a resolution submitted by Ukraine to the UN denouncing
the referendum in Crimea.
The two voices, using plenty of swear words, then start discussing which parts of the world Russia “would annex.”
"We've got Crimea, but that's not f***ing all, folks. In the future, we'll damn well take your Catalonia and Venice, and also Scotland (which the person pronounces as "Scotsland" in an attempt for a pun) and Alaska," says one of the voices.
“At first stage we will,” the second one replies.
Shortly after the recording surfaced on YouTube, deputy spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, posted a comment on her Facebook page saying that she had no idea who was talking on the tape, adding that one of the pictures – labeled “Bakharev” – is indeed deceased ambassador Yury Dubinin, who died in December 2013.
Since the crisis in Ukraine began last November, there have been several scandals involving leaked private phone conversations of top Western officials.
In one of the much talked about clips, Victoria Nuland – Washington's top diplomat in Europe – is heard saying “F**k the EU" while speaking with her counterpart, American ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyat, to dismiss the EU’s handling of the Ukrainian crisis.
Later, in a leaked phone conversation, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet discussed that the snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders