12:08 GMT +321 September 2019
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    LISTEN to Macron Get Trolled by Prankster He Thinks is Ukraine's President-Elect

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    Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy won Sunday's presidential runoff race with 73 percent of the vote, blowing out incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. Russian telephone trolls Vladimir “Vovan” Kuznetsov and Alexei “Lexus” Stoliarov spoke to the French president by phone posing as the president-elect to gage his reaction.

    In the phone call, which took place on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron congratulates "Zelenskiy" on his victory, telling him to "enjoy this moment", "since tomorrow you will bear a huge burden of responsibility".

    "Thank you very much for your support. 73 percent – I feel like Vladimir Putin, he had the same result", the pranksters joke. Macron, in turn, assures "Zelenskiy" that Ukraine's elections don't work "like in Russia", and that his victory was "more natural".

    The French president goes on to promise that France would "do our utmost to give you support in the fight against corruption and with the Minsk agreements", referring to the 2015 accords aimed at establishing peace in the civil war in eastern Ukraine.

    When the pranksters, still posing as Zelenskiy, tell Macron that Ukraine will have to engage in dialogue with Russia, and accuse Poroshenko of refusing to fulfil the provisions of the Minsk agreements, Macron responds: "I believe you are absolutely right, and you have all grounds to have this opinion. So, dear Volodymyr, you can count on my support".

    The pranksters then tell Macron that on the basis of information that has been made public, it seems unlikely that Poroshenko will not be able to avoid a criminal trial once he leaves office next month.

    Unfazed, Macron says he would like to see a "smooth process of the transition of power", wishing "Zelenskiy" the best in starting to exercise his authority "as soon as possible".

    Asked whether he could guarantee Poroshenko's extradition from France if he attempted to hide in the country after a conviction in a Ukrainian court, Macron says: "I don't think the first place he can go in this case is France, so don't worry".

    With Macron repeating his congratulations, "Zelenskiy" says he is going to drink champagne, but hopes that he won't get "as drunk as Mr Poroshenko usually is".

    "Ha-ha-ha!" Macron laughs. "My congratulations on the coming Easter to you and once again my congratulations on your victory", he concludes.

    Vovan and Lexus are well-known for their humorous (and often illuminating) discussions with world leaders and politicians, speaking to dozens of officials over the years, from self-proclaimed Venezuelan "President" Juan Guaido to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, to former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, to name but a few.


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    audio clip, prank call, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Vovan and Lexus, Emmanuel Macron, Ukraine, Russia, France
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