Russia summoned Britain’s ambassador to Moscow on Thursday, to seek clarification on Johnson’s “offensive” remarks about Putin.
The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (June 29) said that if Russian President Vladimir Putin was a woman, he would not have invaded Ukraine, what Moscow calls a “special military operation” that was launched on February 24 this year. In a quite sarcastic way, Johnson dubbed Putin’s decision of Ukraine’s invasion a “perfect example of toxic masculinity”. The British PM also mocked Putin’s macho posturing. Boris told German broadcaster ZDF: “If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has.”
In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry told Ambassador Deborah Bronnert that it “firmly” opposed “the openly offensive comments by the British authorities towards Russia, its leader, its officials as well as the Russian people.”
Slamming the “unacceptable insulting rhetoric”, the ministry’s statement further added, “in polite society, it is customary to apologise for remarks of this kind”.
The Russian foreign ministry also objected to British statements about “deliberately false information, in particular about alleged Russian ‘threats to use nuclear weapons'”.
Previously, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace accused the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman of “every week, threatening to nuke everyone or doing something or another”.
Putin also responded to Boris’ remarks
Putin also rejected what Johnson had said about “toxic masculinity”. In response, he gave an example of when ex-British leader Margaret Thatcher decided to send troops into the Falklands.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday during a visit to Turkmenistan, Putin said: “I just want to recall the events of recent history, when Margaret Thatcher decided to launch military operations against Argentina for the Falkland Islands. So, a woman took the decision to launch military action.”
“Therefore it’s not an entirely accurate reference from the British Prime Minister to what is happening today,” he added.