This is a conversation between two senior German diplomats: Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General for Catherine Ashton’s European External Action Service and Jan Tombinski, the EU ambassador to Ukraine.
It goes like that: (my own quickie rough translation from German)
This is Helga. I wanted to tell you in confidence that the Americans are going around saying that we are too weak and that their stance is stronger on sanctions. I spoke with Cathy and we are on the same line which we have to prepare in a very intelligent way, as we have already discussed it, but you need to know that we are very angry at the Americans for accusing the EU of being too soft, they have said so to reporters. Maybe you could tell the US Ambassador that we are not soft at all and that we have recently come up with a strong statement about Bulatov (inaudible). It makes me angry that the media here says that the US is on the side of freedom.
But Helga you need to realize that we are not in a competition to see how will make the strongest statement…we have other instruments… it is good that…
But you have to see that I don’t want Cathy to be hurt or stuck into a corner as this would take on a different political meaning. Cathy will raise this issue with Kerry and I want you to know that while we are not in a competition it is very unfair on their part to spread such things
Let me tell you that I have learned just a few minutes ago that the opposition will make a new offer to the President and I will immediately write that to Cathy and to you.