Putin warned of ‘devastating’ NATO response after Boris Johnson threat

Zelensky questions whether Vladimir Putin is still alive

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Vladimir Putin was warned that any attack on the UK would initiate an “enormous” NATO response and would be the “end of him”. The Russian President allegedly told Boris Johnson that he could wipe out the UK with a missile attack within 60 seconds. Putin made the remarks during a telephone conversation with Britain’s then Prime Minister in the days and weeks leading up to his disastrous invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Johnson was on a trip to Kyiv to show support for President Zelensky when he had his memorable exchange with the Kremlin tyrant.

The former Tory leader revealed the contents of his dialogue with Putin for a BBC Two series that examines the West’s relations with Russia in the years before the war.

A former British army Lieutenant Colonel dismissed Putin’s threat as pure nonsense, saying any attempt to attack the UK with nuclear weapons would be ruinous for him and his circle of friends.

Glen Grant, who now works as an expert for the Baltic Security Foundation, told Express.co.uk: “Well Putin cannot knock out the UK in a minute.

“But if he decided to attack Britain alone with nuclear weapons, he could make a serious mess – but then that would be the end of him.

“He would also be attacking the children and properties of his colleagues who may not be happy.

“The NATO response would be enormous and devastating for Russia. He is not that foolish.”

Kremlin elites have invested heavily in the UK property market, particularly in London.

Russian oligarchs have snapped up luxury homes in Knightsbridge, Kensington and parts of Highgate to name but a few places.

According to Transparency International, £6.7billion of questionable funds have been invested in UK property since 2016.

At least £1.5billion “has been bought by Russians accused of corruption or links to the Kremlin”.

The Kremlin responded with fury to Mr Johnson’s claims, saying the former Prime Minister was lying.

Dmitry Peskov told journalists: “There were no threats of missiles. It is either a deliberate lie – so you have to ask Mr Johnson why he chose to put it that way.

“Or it was an unconscious lie and he did not in fact understand what Putin was talking to him about.”

Mr Peskov explained what Putin actually said was that if Ukraine joined NATO, then any US missiles placed near Russia’s borders could reach Moscow in minutes.

Mr Johnson recalled in the programme how he warned Putin of the disastrous consequences of any decision to invade Ukraine.

He said the West would impose sanctions and increase its support for Ukraine, leading to “more Nato, not less Nato” on Russia’s borders.

Prior to his decision to attack Ukraine, Putin had delivered a number of ultimatums to Western leaders.


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Chief among them was a demand for NATO to withdraw from its pre-1997 borders. Putin has always tried to claim that his war in Ukraine was a response to aggressive NATO expansionism.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has led to Sweden and Finland, formerly neutral countries, applying for NATO membership.

Mr Johnson said: “He said, ‘Boris, you say that Ukraine is not going to join NATO any time soon.

“‘What is any time soon?’ and I said ‘Well it’s not going to join NATO for the foreseeable future. You know that perfectively well’.”

“He sort of threatened me at one point and said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute’, or something like that.

“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.”

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