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Scholz says Putin has never threatened to kill him, in contrast to Boris Johnson’s claims

German chancellor Olaf Scholz says he has never been threatened by Russia‘s Vladimir Putin, in stark contrast to recent comments made by Boris Johnson.

In an interview with Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag Mr Scholz said that during his telephone conversations with the Russian president, Mr Putin “has not made any threats against me or Germany“.

Mr Scholz’s comments come after those made by former British prime minister Mr Johnson, who claimed in an interview for a BBC documentary that the Russian president threatened to kill him in a missile attack, saying “it would only take a minute”, in a call ahead of the invasion of Ukraine.

The Kremlin has said that Mr. Johnson is lying.

Mr Johnson said that the conversations laid bare their differences in how they viewed the war in Ukraine.

Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24 last year.

“I make it very clear to Putin that Russia has sole responsibility for the war,” Mr Scholz said in the interview.

“Russia has invaded its neighbor for no reason, in order to take parts of Ukraine or the whole country under its control.”

He added that Germany saw Russian actions as a violation of Europe’s peace framework.

As a result it was providing Ukraine with financial, humanitarian and military aid, he said.

Mr Scholz added that there is an agreement with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that weapons supplied by the West must only be used on Ukrainian and not on Russian territory.

“We have a consensus on that.”

Last week, under pressure from Western allies, the German government announced the planned delivery of modern Leopard 2 tanks from its army stocks to Ukraine, as well as authorizing several countries to re-export their German-made tanks to support Kyiv.

Mr Scholz said any arms delivery was carefully coordinated with Western allies in order to avoid further escalations.

Ukraine says that modern battlefield tanks are crucial to its efforts to fight off Russian forces.

Additional reporting by agencies

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