Last Updated: January 30, 2023, 06:32 IST
President Vladimir Putin threatened to personally goal Boris Johnson with a missile assault simply earlier than ordering Russian forces into Ukraine, the previous UK prime minister has claimed.
The obvious menace got here in a cellphone name simply forward of the invasion on February 24, in accordance with a brand new BBC documentary to be broadcast on Monday.
Johnson and different Western leaders had been hurrying to Kyiv to point out help for Ukraine and attempt to deter a Russian assault.
“He form of threatened me at one level and stated, ‘Boris, I don’t wish to harm you, however with a missile, it might solely take a minute’, or one thing like that,” Johnson quoted Putin as saying.
Johnson emerged as one of the most impassioned Western backers of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
But prior to 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 stated, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO any time soon.
“‘What is any time soon?’ And I stated, ‘well it’s not going to hitch NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that completely properly’.”
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 charts the rising divide between the Russian chief and the West within the years earlier than the invasion of Ukraine.
It additionally options Zelensky reflecting on his thwarted ambitions to hitch NATO previous to Russia’s assault.
“If you realize that tomorrow Russia will occupy Ukraine, why don’t you give me one thing in the present day I can cease it with?” he says.
“Or if you can’t give it to me, then stop it yourself.”
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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)