Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin

Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin

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

Russian state TV says one of the suspects, Mr Petrov, told the channel he might comment publicly on the case next week.

Photographs showing Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two men accused of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal.

"Neither Russia's top leadership nor those with lower ranks, and no country's officials, have had anything to do with the events in Salisbury", he said back then.

But, he said, "we will never give up".

LONDON - Britain's attempts to get an explanation from Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury have been met with obfuscation and lies and that hasn't changed, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Wednesday.

They were described as being about 40 years old and believed to be travelling under fake names.

Both Sergei and Yulia Skripal survived, along with a police officer named Nick Bailey.

He said the government had exposed them as GRU operatives - and that is what they are.

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Last month the USA confirmed it was implementing fresh sanctions against Russian Federation over the incident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia September 12, 2018.

Scotland Yard said that the two men had "travelled extensively" on their passports.

Police revealed that traces of Novichok were found at a hotel in London's east end where the men spent two nights.

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. It was later found by Charlie Rowley in the town of Amesbury, not far from Salisbury.

Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in March. At the same time, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Putin personally did not communicate with the suspects. Russian news agency Fontanka has found traffic tickets and a Moscow apartment registered to Boshirov, but none of the neighbors know him. But now, Vladimir Putin has finally responded.

Russian defense and security analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said authorization to attack the Skripals had also likely come "from the very top".

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned the men, thought to be aged about 40, will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation. Members of the GRU have been indicted in the USA for hacking the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's campaign during the 2016 US presidential election. "This position is supported by our global allies", said May's spokesman.

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