German government rejects Boris Johnson’s claims over Ukraine war stance

Prime Minister Boris Johnson; Afghanistan, parliament
Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The German government has rejected former British prime minister Boris Johnson’s claim that Berlin initially wanted Ukraine to quickly “fold” following Russia’s invasion in February.

CNN Portugal quoted Mr Johnson as saying on Monday that “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”.

The network reported that Mr Johnson claimed Germany had “all sorts of sound economic reasons” for that stance.

German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said that he was “tempted to switch to English and say it’s ‘utter nonsense’ what Boris Johnson said”.

He added: “We know that the very entertaining former prime minister always has his own relationship with the truth,” and cited Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s strong defence of Ukraine in a speech to the German parliament on February 27, three days after the war started.

“As such, I think the facts speak against the insinuation I heard in this interview,” Mr Hebestreit said.

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