Putin never threatened me, says German Scholz – POLITICO

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has never threatened him or Germany, following claims by Boris Johnson that Putin threatened the former British prime minister with a missile strike.

“Putin did not threaten me or Germany” in phone conversations the Chancellor had with the Russian leader, Scholz told German newspaper Bild in an interview published on Sunday.

In a British documentary aired last week, Johnson revealed that Putin threatened him in a lengthy phone call in February 2022 just before Russia invaded Ukraine. “He said ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ – something like that,” Boris said in the documentary, referring to Putin.

Johnson said he viewed the Russian leader’s threat as “playing along” with attempts to get him to negotiate on Ukraine. The Kremlin denied any threat.

Pushed in the Bild interview to find out whether Scholz had also received similar threats in phone calls with the Russian leader, the Chancellor said “no”.

In his phone calls with Putin, “I make it very clear to Putin that Russia alone is responsible for the war,” Scholz said. “In our phone conversations, our very different positions on the war in Ukraine become very clear,” he said.

The Chancellor also denied that Germany’s decision to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine posed a threat to Russia.

He said Germany is delivering battle tanks to Ukraine, as well as other allies, including the United States, so that Kyiv “can defend itself”.

“This joint approach prevents an escalation of the war,” Scholz said.

Scholz’s comments come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “the situation is getting tougher” on the front lines of the war in the east of the country. Moscow is launching “more and more of its forces to break through our defenses. Now it is very difficult in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, near Lyman and in other directions,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly speech on Saturday evening.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that Bakhmut “is more and more isolatedfollowing Russian advances in the region. “The two main access routes into the city for Ukrainian defenders are now both likely to be threatened by direct fire, following Russian advances,” the ministry said in a tweet.

As battles rage in eastern Ukraine, one of the first mediators between Russia and Ukraine at the start of the war – former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who served only six months last year – revealed that Putin at the start of the invasion promised not to kill Zelensky. In an Associated Press interview published on Sunday, Bennett said that during a visit to Moscow in March 2022, he asked Putin if the Kremlin planned to try to kill the Ukrainian leader.

“He said ‘I won’t kill Zelenskyy.’ I then said to him, “I have to understand that you’re giving me your word that you won’t kill Zelenskyy. He said, ‘I’m not going to kill Zelenskyy,'” Bennett told the AP. Bennett said that after meeting, he had called Zelenskyy to inform him of Putin’s comments.

The Kremlin has previously denied Ukrainian allegations that Russia intended to assassinate Zelenskyy.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button