Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims in a BBC documentary that Russian President Vladimir Putin made “some sort of threat” before invading Ukraine, saying “it takes a minute for a missile”.
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In this three-part documentary, the first episode of which was broadcast on BBC Two on Monday evening, the former head of the British government describes his “very long” and “extraordinary” call with the Russian president after an initial visit to Kiev. Last February.
At the time, Vladimir Putin continued to say that he had no intention of invading his Ukrainian neighbor, despite the massive infiltration of Russian troops into border areas.
Boris Johnson, he says, has warned the Russian president of severe Western sanctions if he goes down this path.
He said, ‘Boris, you say Ukraine is not going to join NATO anytime soon. […] what you mean Not so soon?”, says Boris Johnson.
“Well, he’s not going to join NATO in the near future, you know that,” continues the former British leader, an early supporter of the Ukrainians.
“At one point he threatened me and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it will take a minute’ or something,” Boris Johnson continues.
“From the very relaxed tone he’s taken, the detachment he’s had, I think he’s toying with my attempts to negotiate with him,” says the former British leader, who left Downing Street in early September after a series of scandals. .
In the documentary, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky describes how he was outraged by the Westerners’ attitude at the time: “If you know that Russia is going to invade Ukraine tomorrow, why don’t you tell me today what to do to stop it? ? If you can’t, stop it yourself.”