Angela Merkel was reached on the phone by Russian impersonators pretending to be Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko to discuss the situation in Belarus and Ukraine, but the former German chancellor sounded cautious throughout the conversation.
Merkel’s office said on Monday that the former German leader called her on January 12 and identified themselves as Poroshenko.
A translator from the language service of the German Foreign Ministry helped with the conversation.
The office said in an emailed statement that Merkel told the ministry later about the “impression that she gained of the caller during the contact” without going into further detail.
Vovan and Lexus, also known as Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, shared what they claimed to call excerpts on their Telegram channel.
With similar prank calls, the pair have previously shocked European leaders such as Prince Harry and Elton John, Polish President Andrzej Duda, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Merkel is heard on the audio arguing, as she has previously in public, that the contentious Minsk peace accord had given Ukraine valuable more time.
Merkel and former French President Francois Hollande mediated the 2015 peace accord between Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin. She also condemns Belarus’ dictatorial government’s repression.
From 2014 to 2019, Poroshenko served as the president of Ukraine. Merkel governed Germany from 2005 through 2021.