(CNN Spanish) — Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC that Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile in a phone call ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The BBC reported that the then prime minister warned Putin that invading Ukraine would trigger Western sanctions and more NATO troops on Russia’s borders during a phone call in February 2022.
,[Putin] He said: ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO in the near future.’ He said it in English. And I said: ‘Well, it’s not going to join NATO in the near future. You know what,'” Johnson said of the call.
“At one point he threatened me and said: ‘You know, Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile it will only take a minute. Or something like that. You know…”, ex said the Prime Minister.
The former prime minister said, “I think because of the very calm tone he was adopting, the kind of detached air he seemed to have was just playing along with my attempts at conversation.”
The exchange was released ahead of a BBC documentary “Putin versus the West”, which examines Putin’s interactions with world leaders and is set to premiere on Monday.
Russia denies it
The Kremlin assured on Monday that Boris Johnson’s statement “is a lie”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a routine conference call, “What Mr. Johnson said is not true. More precisely, it is a lie.”
Peskov said he was aware of what was discussed during that conversation, but insisted that “there was no missile threat.”
According to Peskov, “Talking about security challenges for the Russian Federation, Putin said that if Ukraine joined NATO, the possible deployment of US or NATO missiles near our borders would mean that any missiles Will reach Moscow in minutes.”
He said, “If this passage is understood in this way, it is a very uncomfortable situation.”
Johnson told the BBC in the early hours of Monday that Putin showed him the missile and threatened that “it would only take a minute”. The exchange was released ahead of the documentary “Putin versus the West,” which examines Putin’s interactions with world leaders, set to premiere on Monday.