UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson held an 18-minute phone call with a prankster claiming to be the Armenian Prime Minister, Evening Standard reports.
The Foreign Office confirmed Mr Johnson had taken the call from a man posing as newly appointed Nikol Pashinyan which was revealed in audio footage.
The Foreign Secretary begins by congratulating the prankster “on his success” before admitting he had hoped the UK “would have better relations with Russia than we currently do”.
“I congratulate you very sincerely on your remarkable success. I very much hope that the UK and Armenia will strengthen relations. We were watching what happened and I was particularly impressed with your role in keeping the protests peaceful. I think it’s been a great success. I want to congratulate you and note that the UK is here to help you on your democratic path,” Mr Johnson said.
He later says he is “almost 100 per cent sure” Russia was behind the poisoning of former Soviet spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
The caller, believed to be Russian, goes on to say Mr Pashinyan is due to meet with President Putin in Sotchi.
He says: “I hope he does not poison me with Novichok”.
Mr Johnson laughs at the remark alluding to the poisoning of Mr Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, in the clip obtained by the Guardian.
He adds: “If I have a message to Putin, it’s that we don’t want a cold war but we do want to see an improvement in the way Russia behaves.”
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The Foreign Secretary realized it was a hoax, and ended the call.
“We checked it out and knew immediately it was a prank call. The use of chemical weapons in Salisbury and Syria, and recent events in Armenia are serious matters.
“These childish actions show the lack of seriousness of the caller and those behind him.”