MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. On April’s Fool day, Russia’s Foreign Ministry offered Western politicians to help interfere in election campaigns, make a diplomat’s call to opponents and provide services of Russian hackers, the ministry said in a prank of "the Russian embassy’s answering machine" posted on its Facebook page on Saturday.
"You have reached the Russian embassy. Your call is very important to us. To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponents, press 1. To use the services of Russian hackers, press 2. To request election interference, press 3 and wait until the next election campaign. Please note that all calls are recorded for quality improvement and training purposes," the answering machine says.
The recording is available, first in Russian and then in English.
Nevertheless, diplomats’ humor has been sometimes taken too seriously.
"On April 1, at three in the afternoon (12.00 GMT) Associated Press reporters phoned the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information and press department and asked to ‘officially confirm’ that the recording on the answering machine was a prank," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page. "I am sorry that we have ruined the holiday for AP as they had been celebrating for sure."
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly reiterated that any accusations of Russia’s interference in elections, hacking into computers and databases, influence on other countries’ internal affairs are absolutely groundless and are not substantiated by any evidence.