Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recounts in a BBC documentary that Russian President Vladimir Putin “sort of threatened” him before the invasion of Ukraine by throwing at him: “A missile would take a minute”. Boris Johnson says he had warned the Russian president of the harsh sanctions that Westerners would take if he embarked on this path. “He said: ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO anytime soon. (…) What do you mean by ‘not anytime soon’?” Says Boris Johnson.
“Well she is not going to join NATO in the near future, you know that perfectly well,” continues the former British leader, an early supporter of the Ukrainians. “At one point he kind of threatened me and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it would take a minute’ or something,” Boris Johnson continues. .
“I think that from the very relaxed tone he took, the detachment he seemed to have, he was playing with my attempts to get him to negotiate,” adds the former British leader, who left Downing Street in early September after a succession of scandals. In the documentary, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recounts how he came to be enraged at the attitude of Westerners at the time: “If you know that tomorrow Russia is going to invade Ukraine, why on earth is what you don’t give me today what to stop it? If you can’t, then stop it yourselves.”
The Kremlin denies and accuses Johnson of lying
Allegations rejected en bloc on Monday by Moscow. “What Mr. Johnson said was a lie. Either it was a deliberate lie, but then for what purpose? Or it was an unintentional lie, insofar as he did not understand what he said President Putin,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“There was no missile threat. Speaking of the security challenges for Russia, President Putin noted that in the event of Ukraine joining NATO and the possibility of deploying missiles of the Alliance or American missiles on our borders, that would mean that a missile could reach Moscow in a few minutes,” Dmitry Peskov explained. “If this passage has been misinterpreted, then it is a very embarrassing situation,” he continued.
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