Germany angrily denies claim by Boris Johnson that it wanted Ukraine to quickly lose to Russia when it invaded
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Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street on July 7, 2022. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images
Germany has criticized Boris Johnson's comments about his stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Johnson said on Monday Germany initially wanted Ukraine to "work" to get it over with quickly.
A German spokesman said the remarks were "complete nonsense" and called Johnson "very entertaining".
Germany hit back at a claim by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the country wanted Ukraine to "give up" once Russia invaded.
In an interview with CNN Portugal on Monday, Johnson described the stance of several countries, including France and Germany, before the invasion.
He said: "I'm going to tell you a terrible thing. The German view at one point was that it would be better if the whole thing was over quickly and forever if it happened, which would be a disaster to fold Ukraine."
He said there were "all sorts of reasonable economic reasons" to hold that view.
Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit called it "complete nonsense" at a press conference on Wednesday.
"We know that the very entertaining former Prime Minister always has his own connection with the truth, including in this case here," he said, according to The Guardian's translation. Johnson was forced out of office earlier this year following a series of scandals, including allegations of misleading Parliament.
Hebestreit pointed to Germany's military support for Ukraine as proof that Germany did not want to lose.
However, Germany has been significantly slower than other western countries to help, drawing criticism internally and from the Ukrainian government.
Before the invasion began, Germany declined to join efforts by nations like the US and Britain to send arms to Ukraine and was pilloried by the Ukrainians for offering a shipment of 5,000 helmets instead.
In the first weeks of the invasion, Ukraine's then ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, tweeted in frustration that his country's appeals for German military aid had been met with "only ridicule."
As of November 15, the German government said it had provided $1.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine, compared to about $2.8 billion from the UK and nearly $20 billion from the United States USA, by far the largest military supporter of Ukraine.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned President Vladimir Putin's indiscriminate attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure, Deutsche Welle reported. Russia "can no longer win on the battlefield, that much seems clear," he said, according to the outlet.
In the CNN-Portugal interview, Johnson also spoke about France, saying: "Be assured that the French have been in denial until the last moment."
That assessment appeared to be borne out by the ousting of then-French intelligence chief Eric Vidaud in March for failing to anticipate the invasion of Russia, the BBC reported at the time.
Despite Johnson's domestic turmoil throughout the Ukraine conflict, he developed close ties with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy before he resigned and was widely celebrated in Ukraine.
Ultimately, Johnson told CNN, despite his initial "concerns" about member states' reactions to Putin's aggression, the EU "worked brilliantly."
"What happened was everyone -- Germans, French, Italians, everyone, Joe Biden -- saw that there just wasn't an option," he told the outlet. "Because you couldn't negotiate with that guy.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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