Russian meddling in Binomo? US continues to ‘remind’ Moscow of its place, UN envoy tells pranksters
Famous Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov) released the recording of yet another one of their prank calls, in which they allegedly tricked Nikki Haley into believing she was speaking with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
During the 22-minute conversation with their interlocutor, whose voice and tone strikingly resembled that of the UN envoy, the pranksters raised concerns over Russian interference in the political affairs of an imaginary South China Sea island – Binomo – which does not exist on the world map. Haley, however, seemed to be on top of things, claiming the US is watching the situation there very carefully.
“Do you know Binomo?” the impersonator asked. “They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.”
“Yes, of course they did, absolutely,” Haley confidently replied.
“And now this Binomo land makes the situation in the South China Sea even more tense,” the pranksters said, posing as the Polish PM.
“And we’re aware of that. We've been watching that very closely. And I think we will continue to watch as we deal with the issues that keep coming up about the South China Sea,” Haley replied.
Continuing with the issue of alleged Russian interference in the world’s political affairs, the Polish PM-imposter asked Haley whether or not “Putin [will] be aggressive regarding Europe next year?”
“It is hard to know what Russia is doing right now. I think what we have seen in the Security Council and otherwise is they are trying to be relevant in every region and they are trying to have some sort of say in every region,” she replied. “In some cases, it has worked for them and in some cases, it hasn’t. So they don't have the influence that I think they would like to have but they are certainly trying to get that.”
“I think that many of the other countries, whether it is the Security Council or otherwise, are watching it very cautiously and carefully to make sure that they don't get too much of a foothold where they can cause chaos,” she continued.
“They are aggressive and they can be difficult to work in the Council... And they do try to cause some disruption, but we manage them and we continue to remind them what their place is,” Haley told the ‘Polish PM,’ just days before Poland begins a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
The last comment seems to have struck a nerve with Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who took to Facebook to criticize Haley’s rhetoric. “Nikki, do you really want Russia to remember all of its ‘places’ in the world?” Maria Zakharova asked, calling the remarks of the US’ UN representative “somehow short-sighted.”
While Nikki Haley has neither officially denied nor confirmed the authenticity of the conversation, she very well might have become the latest victim of the Russian pranksters, who have become famous for their unique ability to reach out to high-profile politicians and celebrities.
Vovan and Lexus have made a name for themselves in Russia for pranking high-profile politicians and celebrities. In September 2015, the pair played a prank on Sir Elton John, subsequently forcing the Kremlin to apologize and arrange a real phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the iconic musician. Before that, the duo successfully pranked Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, as well as Georgia’s fugitive former president, Mikhail Saakashvili.