Kremlin denies Putin’s ‘attractive’ interpreter was hired to ‘distract Trump’
The Kremlin has rebuffed an extraordinary claim that Vladimir Putin personally selected a ‘very attractive’ interpreter to distract ex-president Donald Trump at a 2019 meeting.
The claim comes from former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a new book, say reports in the US, that state Fiona Hill, the former administration's Russia expert, had seen the inclusion of the interpreter as suspicious.
The interpreter, seen in a picture of Putin and Trump shaking hands in Osaka, Japan two years ago, can be identified as Russian foreign ministry specialist linguist Daria Boyarskaya, 36.
“As the meeting began, Fiona Hill leaned over and asked me if I had noticed Putin's translator, who was a very attractive brunette woman with long hair, a pretty face, and a wonderful figure,” wrote the ex-press secretary.
“She proceeded to tell me that she suspected the woman had been selected by Putin specifically to distract our president.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov hit back at the report, denying any role for Putin in selecting Boyarskaya, a keen dancer, who he did not name, as a secret weapon.
"Interpreters are provided by the foreign ministry at the request of the presidential administration,” said Peskov.
“Putin himself is not involved in this process.”
In fact it was not the first time that Putin had used Boyarskaya to translate in a session with an American president.
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Before the Trump-Putin talks in Japan, the same interpreter had been deployed in 2016 at a meeting between Putin and then US president Barack Obama in Hangzhou, China.
This and the 2019 meeting between Putin and Trump are publicly recorded by the St. Petersburg School of Conference Interpreting and Translation (SCIT), part of Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, from where she had graduated in 2009.
Earlier she had studied at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad.
She also worked for Putin at a session with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Moscow on October 23, 2018, according to the SCIT records.
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And she translated for the Russian president at a meeting he held with FIFA President Gianni Infantino in April 2016.
Boyarskaya works regularly at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to her social media.
She is believed to live at least partly in Vienna, where the assembly is based.
She is an amateur Salsa and Bachata dancer, and has trained with the MamboGROUP in Moscow.
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