Russian Pranksters Look To Have Tricked US Ambassador Into Commenting On Fake Country Of 'Binomo'
You've got to love prank phone calls on public figures. When done well, they're the great leveller, bringing politicians and film stars down to the level of mere, foolish mortals like the rest of us.
Now two Russian comedians look to have successfully duped the US' Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, into pretending she knows about an Asian country that doesn't exist.
Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, apparently managed to persuade Haley to comment on politics in Binomo - a fake country in the South China Sea. Oops.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Credit: PA
The pair seem to have done it by posing as the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, days after Poland chose to abstain on a UN vote to reject US President Donald Trump's new recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"Let me start with very much thanking you for the support we received on the vote today," Haley told the pranksters at the start of their apparent conversation, uploaded online. "We will never forget it."
Stolyarov, the comedian posing as Morawiecki, turned the conversation to Binomo, asking "You know Binomo?" to which the woman claimed to be Haley replied "Yes, yes."
"They had elections and we suppose Russia had its intervention", Stolyarov continued.
"Yes, of course they did, absolutely," Haley replied. "We've been watching that very closely, and I think we will continue to watch that as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea."
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When Stolyarov asked Haley what the US was planning to do about the island, Haley said that she needed to "find out exactly what our stance is on that". None, probably.
Who Haley thought she was speaking with: Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki, Credit: PA
In a 22-minute audio clip, the pair also asked Haley about Ukraine and showed support for ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Saakashvili was arrested in Kiev in December after being accused of taking money from a Russia-based oligarch to destabilise Ukraine, which has been in a proxy war with Russia since 2014.
While Poland and Ukraine are traditional allies - who previously co-hosted Euro 2012 - their relationship has taken a downturn lately due to a dispute over the massacre of Poles in Ukraine during World War II.
Haley's spokesperson John Degory neither confirmed nor denied whether she spoke with the pair. "We have nothing to share on that at this time," he said.
Vovan and Lexus have a reputation for impersonating officials from Eastern Europe in order to make fun of Western leaders. Looks like they've claimed another victim.
Featured Image Credit: PA