Skripal suspects interview 'lies' and an 'insult' - Downing Street

Novichok suspects. Pic Russia Today

In an interview aired by Russian broadcaster RT on Thursday, the men identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov said they had nothing to do with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

They claimed to have had nothing to do with the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were found slumped on a bench as the Russians were on a train back to London.

The spokesman added: "An illegal chemical weapon has been used on the streets of this country".

British officials had a more sinister explanation: Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were highly trained military intelligence agents sent by the Kremlin to Salisbury to smear a deadly nerve agent on the front door of a former Russian spy.

March 12, afternoon - Public Health England ask everyone who visited Salisbury town centre on the day of the attack to wash all of their clothes and belongings.

"Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that Salisbury has to offer".

The two said that they had gone to the British city of Salisbury to see its famous religious center, Salisbury Cathedral. This whole situation is an incredible coincidence, and we just want to be left in peace. "What is our fault?"

The men denied carrying women's perfume after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok and they denied knowing where the Skripals lived.

Then, days later, President Vladimir Putin vouched for them as just ordinary guys and anything but would-be hit men.

The two men say that they can't leave their homes in Russian Federation any more out of fear that they'll be recognised on the street.

"They demanded that only one camera run during the interview and refused to show their IDs", RT says of the interview carried out by Simonyan.

Sources say the conclusion that the men were GRU officers was based on intelligence about Russian operatives and further inquiries made after the March attack on the Skripals. Petrov claimed they were trying to go for a walk on the 3rd, "but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow".

"The duo surfaced a day after President Putin said Russian Federation had located Petrov and Boshirov, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them".

"When your life [is] turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go".

In the RT interview, the two men said they're not Russian agents, describing themselves as "second-tier businessmen" in the fitness industry. Only this week, we heard an official statement from London, which said that they did not plan to employ the legal assistance mechanism and send any requests to Russian Federation.

On Thursday the two suspects appeared on Russian television to deny they worked for the GRU and said they were in Salisbury as tourists. They are taken to Salisbury District Hospital, where they remain in critical condition. "Sadly, it's what we've come to expect", Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said.

In an address to the Easter Economic Forum in Vladivostok, he said: 'Of course, we looked who these people are.

The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says there is enough evidence to convict the two men, although it is not applying to Russian Federation for their extradition because Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals.

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