Russian Federation says Skripal poisoning suspects are 'civilians'

Pauline Gross
September 12, 2018

Calling the poisoning a "sickening and despicable" attack, Javid said it was "unequivocally, crystal-clear this was the act of the Russian state - two Russian nationals sent to Britain with the sole objective of carrying out a reckless assassination attempt".

"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything".

He said that there was "nothing criminal" about the two men and that he hoped they would come forward and tell their own story, adding: "That would be better for everybody".

Photographs showing Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two men accused of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal. Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

British prosecutors last week identified two Russians, whom they said were operating under aliases - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - and whom they accused of being the so-called "novichock two".

"We know who they are".

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said, contradicting the British government's assertion that they are officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU. "There is nothing particularly criminal there, I assure you", he said.

The Kremlin leader spoke amid new revelations indicating that the "spies" who planted novichok in Salisbury may have stolen the identities of Russian people for their mission.

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British officials earlier this month charged the two men in absentia with the attempted murder with novichok of Sergei Skripal, as well as his daughter and a policeman who investigated the scene.

Skripal - a former colonel in Russian military intelligence who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service - and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the English city of Salisbury in March.

Rowley gave it to his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, who later died.

Russian Federation retaliated by kicking out a similar number of those countries' envoys.

Mr Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, were poisoned in the United Kingdom in March.

British police said the suspects, both about 40-years old, flew from Moscow to London on Russian passports two days before the Skripals were poisoned.

Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol.

Other reports by GizPress

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