uess which national leader sent this message to Boris Johnson after the announcement of his hospital admission? “Dear Prime Minister,” it read, “Let me express my sincere support for you at this difficult moment. I am sure that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you defeat the illness. With all my heart, I wish you a speedy and full recovery.”
Here are some clues. It was not from anyone in the European Union nor from anyone in the Commonwealth, and you know it was not from Donald Trump, because his assurances that “all Americans are praying for him” and that “he’s a great gentleman and a great leader” were splashed all over the British media.
Nor was it from anyone who would be regarded as a particular friend either of the UK or of Johnson personally. In fact, this these good wishes came from none other than the Russian president Vladimir Putin. And I would add, just for clarity, that neither in Russian nor English is there the slightest hint of ironic intent.
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