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Estonia: Leaked Ashton Ukraine Conversation 'Authentic'

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet (file photo)
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet (file photo)
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.
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