Boris Johnson says Putin threatened UK with missile strike

January 31, 2023, 12:30 pm

LONDON – Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile strike during an "extraordinary" phone call prior to the war in Ukraine.

In a new BBC documentary, Johnson said Putin told him sending a missile to the UK "would only take a minute."

Johnson said he tried to deter Moscow from going to war in Ukraine by warning of Western sanctions and more NATO troops on Russia's borders.

He also said he told Putin that Ukraine would not join NATO "for the foreseeable future" in a bid to prevent Russian military action.

"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. Jolly," Johnson said. "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."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Johnson's claims, saying they were not true, or "more precisely, a lie." (Anadolu)