- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Energy Secretary Rick Perry recently spent a 22-minute phone call speaking with a Russian prankster posing as Ukranian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

Mr. Perry, convinced he was speaking to Ukraine’s prime minister, spoke July 19 about a range of topics including sanctions against Russia, coal exports, natural gas development, and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. On the other end, however, were prank callers Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, reportedly described as the “Jerky Boys of Russia.”

“Secretary Perry is the latest target of two Russian pranksters,” Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Tuesday, The Washington Post reported. “These individuals are known for pranking high level officials and celebrities, particularly those who are supportive of an agenda that is not in line with their governments. In this case, the energy security of Ukraine.”

In the phone call, the pranksters reportedly asked Mr. Perry about a new biofuel made from home-brewed alcohol and pig manure created by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Mr. Perry said he’d like to get more information about the “scientific development,” Russian news outlet Pravda reported.

The prank comes about a month after Mr. Perry met with the Ukrainian president and his delegation at the Energy Department.

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