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Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin

14 September 2018

According to London, their names are Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

The duo had entered Britain on genuine passports, prosecutors said, while British Prime Minister Theresa May described them as military intelligence officers nearly certainly acting on orders from high up in the Russian state.

In the months following the attack, Britain and other countries pointed the finger of blame at Russian Federation but the nation has denied any involvement.

United Kingdom authorities have said the men arrived in the United Kingdom from Moscow on March 2.

"For now we are working on a number of measures to push back Russia's activities and do our best to degrade their intelligence services". He was imprisoned in Russian Federation before being released in a spy swap in 2010. He was freed in a 2010 spy swap and settled in the United Kingdom.

Mr Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in the city of Salisbury on March 4th. They spent weeks hospitalized in critical condition and are now recovering in a secret location for their own protection.

A police officer who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, Nick Bailey, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance. "The government has exposed the role of the GRU, its operatives and its methods, this position is supported by our global allies", the spokesman told reporters.

Moscow has vehemently denied it is responsible for the poisoning. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Viktoria Skripal, the niece of Sergei Skripal, said last week she did not know anything about the two men. Rowley gave it to his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, who later died.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed Tuesday that Rowley and Sturgess were also exposed to Novichok.

Yulia and Sergei Skripal were poisoned in March. At the same time, he pointed out that the Russian president "expressed hope that they will make a public appearance in the near future".

Britain said Russians Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun were behind what it said was a likely Kremlin-backed killing, but the pair have never been tried and Lugovoi has since become a lawmaker in Russia.

Speaking at a panel of an economic conference in Russia's far east on Wednesday, the Russian President insisted the men did not work for the military. Although Novichok is said to be extremely lethal, the Skripals survived, and Russian authorities even questioned why British officials put down the Skripals' pets.

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office, in turn, said that it had nothing against the idea of cooperation with British law enforcement agencies and that it hoped to receive some proof of Russian citizens' complicity in the Skripal poisoning case. "This position is supported by our global allies", said May's spokesman.

Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin