Salisbury nerve attack suspects say they were in United Kingdom as tourists

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While the two admitted that they were in Salisbury, England - where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a park bench on March 4 - they gave a somewhat unconventional answer for making the effort to visit.

Petrov said that on their first trip to Salisbury, they were unable to make it from the train station to the cathedral - about 800 meters (half a mile) - because of snow and slush.

Confirming the timeline produced by police, they admitted they went to Salisbury on two days, to take in the sights of its famous cathedral and ancient clock.

Britain last week charged Boshirov and Petrov in absentia, alleging they were agents of Russia's military intelligence agency known as the GRU who were dispatched to Salisbury to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the nerve agent Novichok.

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom government said the two men who appeared on RT were the same men suspected of poisoning the Skripals. Britain said the attack was nearly certainly approved "at a senior level of the Russian state", an allegation that Moscow has vehemently denied. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London, they told RT, Russia's state-run global broadcaster.

They said they may have approached Skripal's house by chance but did not know where it was located.

"Where there is a controversy, they have to not give undue prominence to a particular side, so where we in the United Kingdom are saying these people were officers of the Russian state and assisted by the Russian state, RT have effectively majorly focused on the Russian perspective to the story", said Emma Banister Dean, a partner at Royds Withy King.

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The Russian President insisted they were innocent and "civilians", contradicting accusations by Scotland Yard that they were agents of Russian military intelligence, the GRU, which Mr Skripal used to be a member of.

The pair spent no more than an hour in Salisbury because of the train times, Boshirov added. "I have seen nothing to suggest that has changed". Russian Federation has denied any involvement.

A handout picture taken at Salisbury train station in Salisbury, west of London on March 3, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov.

The men said they're partners in a business importing sports-nutrition supplements from Europe. British intelligence services say the names are likely aliases, used for a mission in which they failed to kill Skripal. "We'd made plans for staying in London for a while and for visiting Salisbury", said Petrov.

When asked by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan whether they had a counterfeit bottle of designer perfume, which the police said contained the nerve agent, Borishov replied: "Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?"

"We pick up the most necessary, come here and decide how to deliver the new products from this market here". The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.

United Kingdom prosecutors have said they have "sufficient evidence" to charge the pair but did not formally demand their extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens.

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