By-Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “sort of threatened” him with a missile attack shortly before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
According to a new BBC documentary to be aired on Monday evening, the threat was made in a phone call conducted when the Russian attack on Ukraine was increasingly becoming inevitable. Said Johnson:
He (Putin) sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that.
Johnson and other Western leaders were trying to dissuade Russia from attacking Ukraine and the British PM emerged as one of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s strongest supporters.
Before the invasion, Johnson claimed he was at pains to tell Putin that there was no imminent prospect of Ukraine joining NATO.
He warned the Russian President that any invasion would mean “more NATO, not less NATO” on Russia’s borders. Said Johnson:
He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO any time soon. ‘What is any time soon?’
And I said, ‘well it’s not going to join NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectly well’.
I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking and the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate.
The BBC documentary also reveals that Zelensky asked for weapons from NATO countries to stop the Russian invasion. | Kyiv Post