13:48 GMT26 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian pranksters had a phone call with European Parliament President David Sassoli using identities of Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and discussed with him the situation in Belarus, audiotape published on YouTube by prankster Alexey Stolyarov, known as Lexus, says.

    During the phone call, Sassoli said that the European Parliament was strongly concerned over the situation in Belarus and invited one of the pranksters, posing as Tikhanovskaya, to come to the European Parliament, promising to discuss the possibility of such a visit with David McAllister, the chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.

    The pranksters, in turn, asked Sassoli whether Brussels would impose sanctions against Minsk. However, Sassoli did not provide a clear answer to this question, renewing his invitation to Tikhanovskaya to visit the European Parliament.

    The prankster posing as Nauseda told Sassoli that an unofficial connection was allegedly established with Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko. He added that the country's government and the parliament mostly support Tikhanovskaya and are waiting for the right moment to topple Lukashenko. In response, Sassoli said that this was very interesting information.

    Pranksters Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) and Vovan (Vladimir Kuznetsov). File photo
    © Photo : Alexandr Polegenko
    Pranksters Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) and Vovan (Vladimir Kuznetsov). File photo

    One of the pranksters, Vladimir Kuznetsov, also known as Vovan, said that the idea to prank Sassoli arose after the reports about the EU sanctions against Belarus, adding that the pranksters always responded to news buzz.

    On Thursday, the European Parliament refused to recognize Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as the winner of the recent presidential election and called for sanctions on the country's leadership for alleged voter fraud and punitive measures against those protesting the election's outcome.

    pranksters, prank call, prankster, European Parliament, Belarus
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