Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile attack during a phone call
in the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine, in an allegation the Kremlin has refused. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there were “no threats” of missiles in the exchange.
Johnson, speaking to the BBC for a documentary to be broadcast later on Monday, said the Russian leader had asked him about the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO,
to which he had responded it would not be “for the foreseeable future”. Russia denies Johnson’s account.
“He threatened me at one point, and he said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute,’ or something like that,” Johnson said,
recalling the “very long” and “most extraordinary” call in February 2022 which followed a visit by the then-prime minister to Kyiv.
“But 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.”