Boris Johnson accuses Putin of threatening to blow him up with missile
Former UK prime minister, Boris Johnson has claimed President Vladimir Putin of Russia threatened to personally target him with a missile attack just before ordering Russian forces into Ukraine.
According to a new BBC documentary to be broadcast on Monday, the apparent threat came in a phone call just ahead of the invasion on February 24.
Johnson and other Western leaders had been hurrying to Kyiv to show support for Ukraine and try to deter a Russian attack.
“He 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 quoted Putin as saying.
Johnson emerged as one of the most impassioned Western backers of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Read Also: The Media Is Making Another Mistake In Moscow
But before the invasion, he says he was at pains to tell Putin that there was no imminent prospect of Ukraine joining NATO while warning him that any invasion would mean “more NATO, not less NATO” on Russia’s borders.
“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.”
On the missile threat, Johnson added: “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.”
The BBC documentary examines the widening gap between the West and the Russian president in the years leading up to the invasion of Ukraine.
It also has Zelensky lamenting the fact that his attempts to join NATO before Russia’s strike were unsuccessful.