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Boris Johnson’s Ukraine blast: Former Prime Minister claims Germany wanted country to crumble quickly after Russia invasion and France was ‘in denial’ until troops went in
- Boris Johnson singled out three of the EU’s most prominent nations in remarks
- Ex-PM says France was ‘in denial’ up until Russian troops stepped over border
- He says there were a variety of opinions on the tensions between the countries
Boris Johnson has suggested Germany wanted a fast defeat of Ukraine – while France was ‘in denial’ up until Russian troops stepped over the border.
The former prime minister said there were a variety of opinions on the tensions between the warring countries prior to the invasion on February 24.
He singled out three of the EU’s most prominent nations in explosive remarks made in an interview to CNN.
Mr Johnson said: ‘The German view was at one stage that if it were going to happen, which would be a disaster, then it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly and for Ukraine to fold. I thought that was a disastrous way of looking at it. But I can understand why they thought as they did.’
The former prime minister said there were a variety of opinions on the tensions between the warring countries prior to the invasion on February 24
Germany has sought to reduce its reliance on Russian energy since Putin’s invasion but the nation still faces a winter of potential blackouts and announced a £173billion energy bailout in September. Mr Johnson added: ‘Be in no doubt that the French were in denial right up until the last moment.’
France’s president Emmanuel Macron has been criticised for his handling of the crisis – visiting the Kremlin just weeks before Ukraine was invaded.
Mr Johnson also said the Italian government under Mario Draghi was ‘at one stage simply saying they would be unable to support the position we were taking’ – despite previously telling La Repubblica newspaper they had seen eye-to-eye on the issue.
France’s president Emmanuel Macron has been criticised for his handling of the crisis – visiting the Kremlin just weeks before Ukraine was invaded
He again linked the Italian reluctance to the nation’s reliance on Russian gas. But the former prime minister said the West quickly realised Putin could not be negotiated with and a united front was needed. He said ‘the EU has done brilliantly’ since the invasion, adding: ‘After all my anxieties… I pay tribute to the way the EU has acted.’
A German government spokesman declined to comment while the Elysee failed to reply to requests. Sources close to former Italian premier Mr Draghi were approached for comment.
It comes as Pro-Kremlin military experts last night predicted Russia could withdraw from Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after months of sustained shelling.
A raft of Russian bloggers with close links to Putin’s regime said they believed Moscow is ready to hand over Ukraine’s facility, seized in March, to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Rybar, a popular Telegram channel which correctly forecast when Kherson would return to Ukrainian control, said the transfer of the site has been discussed. It added Russia’s nuclear energy giant Rosatom is struggling to maintain the up-keep of the area.
The Ukrainian presidential office refused to be drawn on the reports.