The former prime minister of the UK Boris Johnson has revealed in an interview given to media network CNN Portugal that western nations attitude towards the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, prior to February 24, varied greatly.
Johnson indicated that France was “in denial” over the potential of an invasion, whilst he asserted that Germany had preferred a swift defeat for Ukraine as opposed to a longer drawn out conflict.
“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,” Johnson revealed.
“I couldn’t support that, I thought that was a disastrous way of looking at it. But I can understand why they thought and felt as they did,” he added.
Despite Johnson’s assertion that France was “in denial” French President Emmanuel Macron took measures to prevent an invasion. Macron visited Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin just weeks prior to the Russian leader sending troops into Ukraine.
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Furthermore, the chief of French military intelligence, Gen. Eric Vidaud, was dismissed in March, in part for “failing to anticipate” the Russian invasion, a military source revealed to CNN.
Indeed, according to Johnson much of the western countries became more united following the events of February 24.
“What happened was everybody – Germans, French, Italians, everybody, Joe Biden – saw that there was simply no option. Because you couldn’t negotiate with this guy [Putin]. That’s the key point,” the ex-Prime Minister said.
Between the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February and his resignation in early July, Boris Johnson travelled to Kyiv on at least two occasions and met top officials including President Volodomyr Zelenskyy.