Boris Johnson says Putin 'threatened' him with a missile

The Kremlin denied the former prime minister's claims.

Published: January 30, 2023 10:28am

Updated: January 30, 2023 11:48am

Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile, according to a documentary released Monday.

Reflecting on a conversation he had with Putin less than two weeks before the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Johnson said, "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," the BBC reported.

In the documentary, "Putin Vs the West," Johnson said he tried to deter Putin from taking military action by telling him that Ukraine would not join NATO "for the foreseeable future" and an invasion would lead to sanctions and more NATO soldiers on Russia's borders.

"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," Johnson said. 

"There were no threats to use missiles," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

He told the British outlet that Johnson's claim was "either a deliberate falsehood, in which case you need to ask Mr. Johnson why he lied, or it was not a deliberate lie. That is, he didn't understand what President Putin was saying to him."

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