Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated in a BBC documentary that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to hurt him with a missile strike in a phone call before Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
“A missile would only take a minute,” the former PM Boris Johnson claims Putin threatened him as a response to the comment Johsnon had made that the war would be an “utter catastrophe.”
“He threatened me at one point, and he said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ or something like that. Jolly,” revealed Boris Johnson.
“But 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,” he added.
Johnson told Putin that invading Ukraine would mean more NATO forces on his border.
“Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join Nato any time soon.” He said it in English – “any time soon,” said Putin. “What is any time soon?”
According to Johnson, he responded by saying that Ukraine is “not going to join Nato for the foreseeable future.”
The Kremlin spokesperson Peskov hit back by saying that Johnson’s claim is a “lie.” Peskov said that Johnson’s claim it was either a deliberate falsehood made by Mr Johnson or that he just didn’t understand what President Putin was saying.
Peskov told the BBC that what Putin meant to say was that “if Ukraine joined Nato, the potential deployment of Nato or US missiles near Russia’s border would mean that any missile could reach Moscow within minutes.”
No reference to the threat by missile strike appeared in the readouts of the call given by Downing St and the Kremlin at the time.