Micaela Burrow on November 22, 2022
Russian pranksters impersonating French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Polish President Andrzej Duda by phone on the evening a missile suspected to originate in Russia struck Polish territory, the president’s office said Tuesday.
Comedians Vovan and Lexus managed to speak to Duda for 7 1/2 minutes, impersonating French President Emmanuel Macron before the Polish presidents’ office realized from the “unusual” way in which the conversation was conducted the call might be a hoax, Reuters reported. They pressed Duda on his response to the missile that hours before struck farming equipment inside Poland’s borders, killing two and raising fears of escalation and potential war with Russia.
“Do you think that I want to have war with Russia? No, believe me, I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe my I’m extra careful, extra careful,” Duda told the impersonator, according to a transcript published by BNN Poland.
“We don’t know by whom, launched somewhere in the East and that was probably Russian missiles produced by Russia,” Duda said.
“I think we don’t need escalation, we don’t need it,” the impersonators said.
Duda later said that all evidence indicates the explosion was likely the result of a Ukrainian air defense strike targeting incoming Russian fire and accidentally crossing into NATO territory.
“This is war, and I think that both sides will accuse the other side of this war,” Duda worried.
“I am talking only about Article 4 and I don’t talk about Article 5,” Duda told the impersonator, according to a transcript published by BNN Poland.
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), of which Poland and the U.S. are members, allows a country to call on its allies to conduct a joint response to acts of aggression on a member’s territory.
However, Duda suggested Poland could invoke Article 4 of the NATO treaty, invoking a consultation among member states regarding an “issue of concern.”
NATO called an emergency meeting after the attack, stopping short of invoking Article 4. The allies corroborated Poland’s earlier preliminary indications that the blast came from a Ukrainian air defense missile, and there was no evidence of a deliberate strike on NATO soil.
Po eksplozji rakiety w Przewodowie, w czasie trwających łączeń z głowami państw i szefów rządów doszło do połączenia z osobą podającą się za Prezydenta Francji Emmanuela Macrona. 1/2
— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) November 22, 2022
Duda’s office is investigating how the Russian comedians managed to get through preliminary steps and secure a conversation with the Polish president, Reuters reported.
In 2020, the same comedians phoned Duda impersonating U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, according to Reuters. The duo have pranked several other world leaders, including Canadian President Justin Trudeau and Democrat California Representative Maxine Waters, The Guardian reported.
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