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Boris Jhonson claims Putin threatened to launch a missile at him

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said President Vladimir Putin did not appear to be serious about avoiding war days before Russia invaded Ukraine, at one point telling the British leader it would be easy to kill him with a missile.

The Kremlin denied that Putin had made such a threat.

In a documentary released Monday, Johnson says he called Putin in February 2022 and tried to dissuade him from war, telling him that Ukraine for the time being would not join NATO, a long-standing concern of the Russian leader, and warning that invasion would cause "massive" sanctions from the West.

"From the very relaxed tone he was taking, the kind of air of indifference he seemed to have, he was simply playing into my attempts to get him to negotiate," Johnson said on the BBC's "Putin vs the West" series.

Johnson noted that Putin "at one point threatened me and said, 'Boris, I don't want to hurt you, but with a missile, it would only take a minute,' or something like that."

When asked about Johnson's comments, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said his account was not true, "or, more precisely, it is a lie."

Peskov noted that Johnson may have deliberately lied or failed to understand what Putin was telling him.

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