Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recounts in a BBC documentary that Russian President Vladimir Putin “kind of threatened him before invading Ukraine by throwing it at him: ‘It’s going to take a minute’ for a missile.”
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In this three-part documentary, the first episode of which was broadcast on Monday evening on BBC Two, the former head of the British government recounts his “very long” and “extraordinary” conversation with the Russian president after his first visit to Kyiv. From last February.
At the time, Vladimir Putin continued to stress that he had no intention of invading his Ukrainian neighbor, despite the massive influx of Russian soldiers into the border regions.
Boris Johnson, he says, has warned the Russian president of harsh sanctions that Westerners might impose if he goes down this path.
He said, Boris, you are saying that Ukraine will not join NATO any time soon. […] what do you mean by Not very soon? says Boris Johnson.
“Well, you won’t join NATO in the near future, you know that very well,” continues the former British leader, an early supporter of the Ukrainians.
Boris Johnson continues: “At one point, he kind of threatened me and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it’ll take a minute.’”
And the former British leader, who left Downing Street in early September after a series of scandals, adds: “I think that by the calm tone he took, and the detachment he seemed to have, he was playing with my attempts to get him to negotiate.” .
In the documentary, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tells how angry he was at the attitude of Westerners at the time: “If you know that Russia is going to invade Ukraine tomorrow, why don’t you give me today what to stop? If you can’t, stop it yourselves.”
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