Vladimir Putin: Nothing criminal about men named as Salisbury attack suspects


"We know who they are".

United Kingdom authorities have named the men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, thought to be officers of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

"There's nothing particularly even criminal about it, I assure you".

They have been identified by the United Kingdom as members of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service. Thanks to the security cameras they've been installing in most cities and airports, they've got photographs of almost all the movements of the two men from the moment they arrived until they departed for home.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the two men accused by the United Kingdom of attempting to murder a former Russian double agent and his daughter are not criminals and have been identified as civilians. Shortly after the Skripals were attacked, Putin replied to a question about the attack, "Russia does not have such chemical agents". "I hope they will come forward and tell about themselves".

The Kremlin leader spoke amid new revelations indicating that the "spies" who planted novichok in Salisbury may have stolen the identities of Russian people for their mission.

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The two suspects named by the United Kingdom as being behind the Novichok poisonings have been found in Russian Federation. "We'll see in the near future", he added.

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. The Russian suspects flew home later that day and haven't returned.

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.

Former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill after being exposed to the military grade nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in March.

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

Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol.