An investigation is under way to determine how a hoax caller impersonating the Prime Minister of Armenia was able to speak to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in an 18-minute phone conversation, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursda, the BBC reports.
The UK government believes the Kremlin was behind the call.
A senior UK diplomatic source said: “This seems to be the latest desperate attempt by the Kremlin to save face after it was internationally shamed in the wake of the Skripal attack.
“Boris rumbled them pretty quickly and ended the call.
“It is tragic to see a major international power reduced to failed pranks you would usually only see on Trigger Happy TV.”
Downing Street said there would be a “Whitehall investigation” into how the caller was able to get through to the foreign secretary.
“Obviously this shouldn’t have happened. An investigation is under way to determine the circumstances around this call and to make sure that this does not happen again,” a No 10 spokeswoman said.
Pranksters Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov – known as Lexus and Vovan – have claimed a series of high-profile victims including politicians and Elton John.
Details of the call were published in the pro-Kremlin tabloid newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, with one of the hoaxers, Alexei Stolyarov, saying Mr Johnson had turned out to be “a smart diplomat”.
“For the first time we spoke with an intellectual, and not a fool,” he is reported as saying.