Then serving as Foreign Secretary in David Cameron’s government, Mr Johnson wrote a column for the Telegraph in which he argued the UK and other European nations should cooperate with Russia to resolve the crisis in Syria. But Mr Johnson didn’t suggest this without making a jibing and damning assessment of the Russian President Mr Putin, calling him a “tyrant” while also stating that he looks “a bit like Dobby the House Elf”.
Mr Johnson said in his article: “Look, I am no particular fan of Vlad. Quite the opposite.
“Russian-backed forces are illegally occupying parts of Ukraine. Putin’s proxy army was almost certainly guilty of killing the passengers on the Malaysia Airlines jet that came down in eastern Ukraine.
“He has questions to answer about the death of Alexander Litvinenko, pitilessly poisoned in a London restaurant.
“As for his reign in Moscow, he is allegedly the linchpin of a vast post-Soviet gangster kleptocracy, and is personally said to be the richest man on the planet.
“Journalists who oppose him get shot. His rivals find themselves locked up. Despite looking a bit like Dobby the House Elf, he is a ruthless and manipulative tyrant.”
Despite this unwavering critique of Mr Putin, Mr Johnson suggested the UK must cooperate with Moscow because the major threat at the time, in his view, was the growth of ISIS in the Middle East.
He continued: “Does that mean it is morally impossible to work with him? I am not so sure.
“We need to focus on what we are trying to achieve. Our aims – at least, our stated aims – are to degrade and ultimately to destroy Isil as a force in Syria and Iraq. That is what it is all about.”
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