Putin says Skripal poisoning suspects are 'civilians'

13 September, 2018, 01:54 | Author: Carlos George
  • Putin says Russia has found men accused by UK over poisoning

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.

"These men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU".

Two days later, police say they sprayed the nerve agent, Novichok, on the front door of Mr Skripal's home in the Wiltshire city of Salisbury, before travelling home to Russian Federation later that day. "We know who they are".

Following the poisoning, it was indicated that the Central Intelligence Agency would offer to settle the pair into a new life with new identities in the USA, to protect them from any further assassination attempts.

Last week, the United Kingdom authorities named the men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, members of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

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.

He added, "There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you".

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He added with a smirk, "I hope they will soon appear and tell their own story".

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied knowing about the poisoning. "We'll see in the near future".

The Skripals' poisoning by the deadly nerve agent Novichok on March 4 triggered a tense diplomatic show down between Russia and the West. Britain and more than two dozen other countries expelled a total of 150 Russian spies working under diplomatic cover, and Russia kicked out a similar number of those countries' envoys.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Petrov and Boshirov are officers from Russia's intelligence service, also known as the GRU, whose attack was "almost certainly" authorized by the higher echelons of the Russian government.

Mr Skripal was a former GRU agent, before defecting and aiding the UK. The Brits have leveled charges against them, while not having much in the way of expectations that they'll ever get their hands on them.

Ms Sturgess died while Mr Rowley remains in hospital fighting meningitis after his body was severely weakened by exposure to the military grade poison.

The pair survived, and British authorities last week issued a European arrest warrant for Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov over attack.

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