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ibusinesslines.com November 17, 2018


'Skripal suspects' tell Russian media they visited Britain as tourists

16 September 2018, 08:51 | Erica Roy

Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov

Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov

British authorities say the GRU dispatched the agents to Salisbury to poison Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with the nerve agent Novichok.

London's reaction to a recent interview of Russia's RT channel with two men suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is absurd, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Police said that they believed the names were aliases - but the two men insisted they were their real names and denied they were intelligence operatives.

"These are ordinary citizens".

The Prime Minister's spokesperson accused the Russian state of manufacturing "lies and blatant fabrications" that "are an insult to the public's intelligence".

"Perhaps we did pass by Skripal's house, but we don't know where it is", said Boshirov.

They say the goal of the men's visit to Salisbury on 3 March was reconnaissance, and on 4 March they returned to apply Novichok to the Skripals' front door.

"We are looking at this November deadline absolutely, we plan to impose a very severe second round of sanctions", she said.

When the men identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov visited Salisbury in March, the city was in the snowy grip of the harshest winter to hit England in years.

The mobile phone they used to make contact with her also no longer appears to be in service, she said.

Moscow is ready to consider London's request for legal assistance in investigating the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal but the United Kingdom has been rejecting cooperation, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.


The regulator said Thursday's interview had not yet triggered any new complaints but industry experts said the network had taken a big risk by airing the interview.

"Russia's position has remained unchanged and clear - we consider it unacceptable to link the Russian leadership or the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury", Peskov said.

The insider said Borishov and Petrov - both of whom claim to be innocent tourists - could have met the other two suspects after checking in at City Stay Hotel in Bow, East London.

FILE PHOTO: Police officers guard the cordoned off area around the home of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, April 3, 2018.

In the men's first interview since they were named publicly they denied carrying women's perfume.

However, a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU, and UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the men will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

They confirmed that they were the men in CCTV images released by British police last week showing two men in their 40s.

Questioned on whether the pair were civilians, Mr Putin replied: 'Of course they are civilians'.

Theresa May, however, said the men were agents of Russia's foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU, and their actions were "almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state".

Officers formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury where Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.



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