Boris Johnson reveals new date for call with Putin
The British PM missed a scheduled call with the Russian president on Monday
Boris Johnson’s spokesman said that the British Prime Minister will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone on Wednesday, after he missed a scheduled call as he defended himself from a domestic scandal in parliament. The Kremlin, however, has yet to confirm if the call has indeed been rescheduled.
Johnson spoke to reporters after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, telling them how the UK reckons Ukraine is facing “a clear and present danger” of Russian invasion, something Moscow denies and Zelensky himself has attempted to tamp down in recent days.
Johnson missed Monday’s call, which was scheduled for 4pm, as he remained in parliament to defend his conduct to MPs following the publication of a report into the so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal, involving a series of restriction-defying social gatherings at the PM’s residence during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Even in Kiev, reporters harangued Johnson over ‘Partygate,’ despite the PM’s attempts to focus attention on the crisis in Ukraine. Johnson accused Putin of attempting to “undermine” democracy and establish a Russian “zone of influence” in Eastern Europe, claiming that Putin will one day threaten “Georgia and Moldova and other countries.”
In recent months, Ukrainian and Western officials have repeatedly voiced concerns about the prospect of an imminent invasion, citing reports that Moscow was amassing troops and hardware near the shared frontier. The Kremlin has consistently denied all such accusations as groundless “hysteria,” arguing that the movement of its armed forces in its own territory was an internal matter and of no concern to anyone else. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday that the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO poses a threat to European security, as it creates the grounds for a major conflict between Moscow and the military bloc.