Putin says two Skripal poisoning suspects are civilians and not criminals

Skripal poisoning suspects are civilians, not criminals, says Putin

Putin says two Skripal suspects are civilians

British officials have said the men were agents of Russian military intelligence dispatched to kill Sergei Skripal, a Russian ex-spy who had given information to the British.

President Vladimir Putin says Russian Federation has identified the men Britain suspects of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent, contradicting United Kingdom authorities by claiming they are civilians.

The two suspects behind the attack in Salisbury have been named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Skripal poisoning suspects are civilians, not criminals, says Putin

"They are civilians, of course", he said, apparently responding to a claim by the British authorities that the two suspects are members of Russia's military intelligence agency. He appeared to be implying that they were not the people who carried out the poisoning.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously rejected May's accusations, noting both the unacceptable tone of her statement and the necessity for a thorough and unbiased investigation which has been so far made impossible by London's unwillingness to cooperate with Moscow. Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Earlier this month the Kremlin said the suspects' names and photographs "mean nothing to us".

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"We hope they will turn up very soon and will tell everything themselves". This would be best for everyone. "There is nothing particularly criminal there, I assure you", he said. "We'll see in the near future".

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.

Rowley in July unwittingly picked up a fake perfume bottle, which the perpetrators filled with nerve agent meant to poison Skripal and made to look like it was from a designer brand.

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Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill after being exposed to the military grade nerve agent Novichok.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital on 8 July.

Britain believes that Petrov and Boshirov - which may not be the two men's real names - are now in Russian Federation.

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They said they would not formally demand the men's extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens, but have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for the pair.

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