‘Another dirty trick’ Ukrainian Deputy PM has ‘no doubt’ Russia is behind Ben Wallace hoax

Ukraine: Russian tanks being blown up in Mariupol

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Iryna Vereshchuk told Dan Wootton that she believes it was likely the hoax call was another “dirty trick” from The Kremlin. Ms Vereshchuk said that if Russia was able to poison people on British soil, a reference to the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury in 2018, it could easily organise a prank call.

She said: “Well, if Russia managed to poison people to death on the territory of the United Kingdom with Novichok.

“It’s obvious, I have no doubt this is another dirty trick of Russia.”

On Thursday, Mr Wallace announced on Twitter that an “imposter” had phoned him claiming to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

However, Mr Wallace said that the imposter had asked some “misleading” questions and he had terminated the call.

He said: “Today an attempt was made by an imposter claiming to be Ukrainian PM to speak with me.

“He posed several misleading questions and after becoming suspicious I terminated the call.

“No amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks can distract from Russia’s human rights abuses and illegal invasion of Ukraine. A desperate attempt.”

Ms Vereshchuk provided an update about ongoing peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

She said: “I’m confident. I know for sure that the main items that are being discussed now is the ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian military units from the territory of Ukraine.”

Mr Wootton went on to ask Ms Vereshchuk about the possibility of Ukraine accepting neutral status as part of a ceasefire agreement.

She said: “We’ve had neutral status all these years and actually it hasn’t protected us from Putin’s aggression.

“So, we need some new guarantees of security.

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“If it is called neutral status let it be, but this new agreement should prevent any further aggression towards our territory.”

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