Ex-UK PM Johnson says Putin threatened him with missile strike
London, Jan 30 (EFE).- The former British prime minister Boris Johnson said Russia’s Vladimir Putin threatened to target him with a missile attack during a telephone call before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Johnson, prime minister from 2019-22, made the claim in an interview as part of the BBC documentary, Putin Vs the West, which airs Monday.
“He said: ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon.’ He said it in English: ‘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.’”
Johnson continued: “You know he sort of, he threatened me at one point and said: ‘You know, Boris I don’t want to hurt you but with a missile it would only take a minute,’ or something like that. You know… jolly.
“I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate.”
In the documentary, which looks at Putin’s relations with world leaders in the build-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Johnson said he warned the Russian president that war would be an “utter catastrophe.”
The Kremlin on Monday said Johnson’s comments were a lie, and denied that Putin had made such a threat.
“No, what Mr. Johnson said is not true, to be more exact, it is a lie,” Dmitri Peskov, the long-serving Kremlin spokesman, said during his daily briefing.
“If it was an intentional lie, then it begs the question why he chose to express himself in that way, and if it was unintentional, then it was because he didn’t understand what President Putin said to him.” EFE