September 28, 2019 / 1:27 AM / 18 days ago

Lavrov says Trump-Zelenskiy call blown out of proportion

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said the controversy over a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been blown out of proportion and dismissed a suggestion that Russia was behind it.

“(U.S. House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi said today that behind the incident - that is being blown out of proportion - around the telephone conversation between President Trump and President Zelenskiy, that it was Russia behind it all,” he told reporters at the United Nations. “It’s paranoia.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives have launched an impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower complaint that Trump solicited a political favour from Ukraine’s president during the phone call that could help the Republican get re-elected.

In an interview on Friday, Pelosi suggested Russia may have been behind the matter. “By the way, I think Russia has a hand in this,” Pelosi told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” programme on Friday.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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