The Kremlin scoffed at Johnson's statement: He is a simple liar

Dmitry Peskov / Photo by Mikhail Japaridze / TASS / Profimedia

The Kremlin called Boris Johnson a liar and denied them the claims of the former British Prime Minister that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him with a missile in the call before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sky News reported.

The former prime minister claims the Russian leader told him "I don't want to hurt you, but with a missile, it will only last a minute" in an "extraordinary" conversation that took place in February after he visited Kyiv.

However, the Kremlin today accused Johnson of lying. - He is not telling the truth, or to be more precise - he is lying, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. - There were no threats with missiles, said Peskov.

– It's either a deliberate lie – so you have to ask Mr. Johnson why he chose to say it that way – or it's an unconscious lie and he didn't actually understand what Putin was talking about with him.

Peskov said Putin told Johnson if Ukraine joined NATO it would mean US or NATO missiles placed near Russia's borders could reach Moscow within minutes and suggested there may have been a misunderstanding.

- If this passage is understood that way, then it is a very unpleasant situation, added Peskov.

Johnson, who became a key supporter of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi's administration in the months after Russia's invasion, made the claim as part of a new BBC 2 series looking at how the West has fought Putin over the years before the war.

The former British Prime Minister recalled that during his visit to Kyiv, he warned Putin that the invasion of Ukraine would be disastrous and that there would be tougher Western sanctions against Russia if he did so. Johnson also said he told the Russian leader that escalation would only lead to increased Western support for Ukraine, meaning "more NATO, not less NATO" on Russia's borders.

- He said: "Boris, you say that Ukraine will not join NATO soon. […] What is soon? and I said, “Well, it's not going to join NATO in the foreseeable future. You know that perfectly well," said Johnson about the phone conversation with Putin. - He, in a way, threatened me at one point and said: "Boris, I don't want to hurt you, but with a missile, it will only last a minute", or something similar, recalled the former British Prime Minister.

VIDEO | "Putin wanted to kill me with a rocket," says former British Prime Minister Johnson

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