We know who United Kingdom poisoning suspects are, and they're not criminals: Putin

Pauline Gross
September 14, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his government knows who two men are whom United Kingdom police recently accused of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal.

The British government recently said Scotland Yard detectives had identified Mr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as suspects, who they said were from Russia's foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU.

"I call on them to appear before the media and tell their story", Putin said, according to Russia's embassy in the U.K. Putin spoke Wednesday in Vladivostok, Russia, where he is holding an economic summit with other leaders. "We know who they are, we have found them", he said. "There is nothing special and nothing criminal about it, I'm telling you". We'll see soon. They are civilians of course.

Hours after Putin spoke, Russian state TV said one of the two men, Petrov, had told it by phone that he might comment on the case next week. He was later discharged from hospital, as were the Skripals.

London is reluctant to allow the Russian embassy to contact the Skripals in order to inquire after their health, find out about their current living conditions and figure out whether they were forced to remain where they are.

It comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin broke his silence on the two men, believed to be members of the GRU, when he claimed there was "nothing criminal" about them.

The British government also released detailed surveillance footage tracking the pair's apparent movements and an image of the perfume bottle purportedly used to administer the nerve agent on the Skripals' front door.

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A British inquiry concluded that Litvinenko had been killed at the behest of the Russian state, probably with the president's knowledge.

Russian state media has reported that a man named Alexander Petrov worked for a pharmaceuticals company in the Siberian city of Tomsk and has denied any involvement in the case.

"For now we are working on a number of measures to push back Russia's activities and do our best to degrade their intelligence services".

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.

Ms Sturgess, 44, died in July.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the men will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

Other reports by GizPress

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