Boris Johnson claims Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him with missile in call ahead of Russian invasion of Ukraine | Politics News

Boris Johnson has claimed Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him with a missile during a call ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

alleged former prime minister Russian leader told him “I don’t want to hurt you, but with a rocket it will only take a minute” during an “unusual” conversation that took place in February after he visited Kyiv.

Mr. Johnsonwho will become the main supporter of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the months following the Russian invasion, made the statement as part of a new BBC Two series that examines how the West wrestled with Mr. Putin in the pre-war years.

The former prime minister reiterated that during his visit to Kyiv, he warned Putin that an invasion of Ukraine would be disastrous and that the West would punish Russia more severely if he did so.

Mr Johnson also said he had told the Russian leader that escalation would only lead to increased Western support for Ukraine, meaning “more NATO, not less NATO” on Russia’s borders.

“He said, ‘Boris, you said Ukraine won’t join NATO anytime soon. […] What time is coming?’ and I said ‘Well, it’s not going to join NATO in the near future. He knows that very well,'” Mr Johnson said of the phone call with Mr Putin.

“At one point he threatened me and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a rocket, it’ll only take a minute’, or something like that.

“I think from the very relaxed tone he’s using, the kind of aloof atmosphere he has, he’s just playing along in my efforts to convince him to negotiate.”

In the first day of this month, Mr. Johnson makes a surprise visit to Ukraine amid renewed scrutiny of his personal finances.

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Boris Johnson visits Ukraine

The former prime minister said it was a “privilege” to be invited by the President to the war-torn country. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with whom he had a close working relationship during his tenure.

Downing Street said Rishi Sunak “supported” the visit, after claiming it could undermine his power over foreign policy.

Mr Johnson is pictured visiting Borodianka near Kyiv – a town badly damaged by Russia’s Invasion.

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In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “The suffering of the Ukrainian people has lasted too long.

“The only way to end this war is for Ukraine to win – and win it as quickly as possible. This is the time to double down and give the Ukrainians all the tools they need to finish it successfully. job.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesman added that he fully supports the UK government’s policy towards Ukraine, including decided to send the Challenger 2 tank recently.

The former prime minister saw himself as a key ally of Kiev during his time in Number 10, supporting and calling on Western allies to follow suit in the early days of Russia’s invasion last February.

As his scandalous tenure as prime minister unraveled, Mr Johnson was accused of using trips to Ukraine or phone calls with Mr Zelenskyy to distract from domestic crises.

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Johnson: Loan claims ‘complete nonsense’

This trip comes amid accusations that BBC chairman Richard Sharp helped the former prime minister arrange a guarantee for a loan – and that Mr Johnson subsequently nominated Mr Sharp for the role of BBC president.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson denied the report was “trash”.

Senior Tories have raised concerns about the trip, with Commons defense select committee chair Tobias Ellwood telling the paper that Mr Johnson “should not interfere with messaging or official lines of communication”. ” between London and Kyiv.


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