The prime minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, informed a prank caller pretending to be an African leader that there is a great deal of fatigue surrounding the conflict in Ukraine. She also mentioned having some strategies in mind to resolve the situation.
Meloni’s team verified that she was deceived into participating in the phone conversation on September 18th, allegedly by two Russian pranksters, with an individual posing as the president of the African Union Commission.
As per Italian media sources, the individuals making the calls were a duo of Russian comedians named Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, also known as Vovan and Lexus. One of them posed as “an African politician” while speaking to Meloni.
Vovan and Lexus, who are staunchly in favor of Russia, have been accused of having connections to Russian intelligence agencies, but there is no proof to support the claim.
A copy of the phone conversation was uploaded to the Canadian video-sharing website Rumble and later shared by the Russian government-owned news agency Ria Novosti.
Meloni expressed fatigue on all fronts in regards to Russia’s involvement in the war in Ukraine. She believes that the time is coming when it will be realized that a solution is necessary.
The counterattack by Ukraine is not going according to plan… It has not altered the outcome of the dispute, and it is widely acknowledged that the conflict could continue for several years if a resolution is not found. The Ukrainian forces are fulfilling their duties, while we are attempting to provide assistance.
According to Meloni, the issue was “finding a mutually agreeable solution that doesn’t violate international law.”
She stated, “I have certain thoughts on how to handle this scenario, but I am waiting for the opportune moment to present them.”
According to sources mentioned in the Italian media on Wednesday, Meloni has consistently shown strong support for Ukraine in public.
Vovan and Lexus are known to be adept at social engineering political leaders into taking their calls. Meloni’s office said she was targeted during an “intense” period when she was working to “strengthen relations” with African leaders whom she had arranged to meet on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York between 19 and 21 September.
Meloni has been requesting assistance from African leaders in order to prevent migrant boats from crossing to the coast of Italy. She brought up this issue during the call.
She stated that Europe has a misconception that the issue can be contained within Italy. However, she believes this is impossible due to the sheer scale of the problem. It not only affects the EU, but also requires involvement from the UN. The issue is that other countries do not seem to care and there is a consensus that Italy must handle it single-handedly.