Mr Johnson said Putin made the remarks in a “very long” and “unusual” phone call in early February last year when Russian troops were massing along the Ukrainian border. to express Western support for Ukraine.
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“He threatened me at one point and said something like, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it’ll take less than a minute.’ Told.
Although Russia has one of the world’s largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons, including long-range missiles, Johnson suggested that he did not see Putin’s remarks as a serious threat.
“From the relaxed tone he was taking, the sort of air of detachment he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate,” Johnson said. Said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Putin had threatened Johnson with a missile attack, saying the former prime minister was deliberately not telling the truth or misunderstanding the Russian president.
“That’s a lie. There was no missile threat,” he told reporters at a news conference. “Regarding challenges to the security of the Russian Federation, Putin said that if Ukraine joins NATO, the possibility of deploying NATO or US missiles near the border means that the missiles can reach Moscow in minutes. It would be very embarrassing if this passage was perceived in this way,” he said.
During the conversation, Johnson told Putin that any aggression would lead to tougher sanctions, strengthen Western support for Ukraine, and result in “more NATO, not less” on Russia’s borders. He said he was warned.
“He said, ‘Boris, you said that Ukraine is not going to join NATO anytime soon. No. You know it perfectly well,” Johnson recalled the exchange. Three weeks after their call, on February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine.
Johnson has sought to establish himself as one of Ukraine’s most outspoken supporters. Despite not playing an official role in the British government after being ousted in September after a series of scandals, he made a surprise visit to Kyiv a little over a week ago to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Britain promised to ‘stick to Ukraine’…as long as it takes. ”
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In another comment from an excerpt from the documentary “Putin vs. the West” due to air Monday night, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said of his interactions with Russian officials during a visit to Moscow last February. also told
Referring to a conversation between Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov, he said: “Yes!” He also said he had no intention of invading. ”
“That’s ‘vran’e’ in Russian. I think “Vran’e” is more like a bullying or a demonstration of strength. I’m going to lie to you. You know I’m lying. I know you know I’m lying and I’m still going to lie to you. I knew what he knew. But I think it was about ‘I’m powerful’.
“It was a pretty chilling but blunt lie about what they weren’t going to do, so I think I confirmed what they were going to do.” I don’t think so,’ I remember saying. We were once his 4th army in the world, now he is his 2nd. Now it’s America and us.And in that moment there was a subconscious sense of reason [they were doing this]”
Natalia Abakumova from Riga, Latvia contributed to this report.