Speaking in an interview with Sky News, former British Prime Minister reiterated his firm support for Ukraine, saying that campaigning to help the embattled nation was “very dear to my heart“.
Speaking to Sky’s Mark Austin on Tuesday, Nov. 1, Johnson also said it was “absolutely inevitable” that Ukraine would defeat Russia and that Vladimir Putin “would be crazy” to use tactical nuclear weapons during his ongoing invasion.
“I harbour hopes of continuing to campaign for Ukraine and that is my priority,” he said. “There are various other things I’m doing but that is of course very dear to my heart.”
Questioned on whether he believed Putin would resort to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Johnson said: “I think he would be crazy to do so.”
“I think what would happen is he would immediately tender Russia’s resignation from the club of civilised nations. It would be a total disaster for his country.
“So, the current economic punishment that the West has been able to dish out would be massively intensified.
“Russia would be put into a kind of cryogenic economic freeze, and I think he would lose a lot of the kind of middle ground of global tacit acquiescence that he has had.
“He will also crucially lose the patronage of the Chinese and above all in his own country I think you would trigger an absolutely hysterical reaction. So, I don’t think that’s an option.”
Mr. Johnson added that there would “have to be a response of some kind” from the West.
“I think that this is a critical moment for the world, and I think it’s a pivotal moment. It’s a turning point.
“I think the danger is that we will try to compromise and find some sort of deal, some grubby bargain with Putin, try to encourage the Ukrainians to trade some of their territory which will only encourage Putin to make further aggression.
“The prize for holding firm and continuing to support Ukraine is absolutely immense, because for the first time in decades we have shown that we really believe in democracy and freedom and that we’re really willing to support it and those values in Europe.
The former prime minister, who is widely respected in Ukraine for staunchly supporting the nation’s efforts to fight against Russian invaders, said he predicted that Putin would lose the war, and speculated on the implications such a defeat would have.
“A Ukrainian victory could be an absolute turning point for the world,” he said, going on to praise U.S President Joe Biden.
“I think it’s very important that America has been extraordinary, ” he added.
“Joe Biden has been absolutely wonderful and people might not expect me to say that but I do think America, as so often, massively surprised on the upside.”
Johnson confirmed that the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, had an “excellent talk the other night with Volodymyr Zelensky and we are going to continue flat-out to support Ukraine and to make sure that we give them everything they need”.
On calls for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia, Johnson said:
“I would argue passionately against that and just for this reason that I don’t think it is likely to happen, but I just don’t think it’s realistic.
“Because there is no deal that Zelensky can do. There is no deal that Putin is offering.
“It’s not like he’s saying give me the land bridge and Crimea and Donbas and your problems are over. No, no, no.
“He is still committed to the full destruction of an independent European democracy, and under those circumstances, you simply cannot negotiate and I don’t believe any British government will do so.
“I think what the war in Ukraine requires from everybody is strategic patience and continuance but I’ve got absolutely no doubt that in the end right will prevail.
“It is the difference between right and wrong, be in no doubt. And I think the Ukrainians are going to win. And our energy security will be greatly improved at the end of it.”
Pressed on whether he planned to make a political comeback, Johnson said: “Clearly tempting as it is, the most important thing is to focus not on me or my political career but to focus on what matters.”