Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Britain points finger at Putin over spy poisoning

Britain points finger at Putin over spy poisoning

"It was nearly certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state".

Rather than merely living an isolated life in retirement, Mr. Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, continued to provide briefings to spies in the Czech Republic and Estonia, according to European officials.

Putin's foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Moscow that the names of the two Russian men suspected in the poisoning "do not mean anything to me".

In the joint statement, the leaders said: "We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was nearly certainly approved at a senior government level".

It started with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, assumed to be aliases, landing in the United Kingdom at 3pm on Friday, March 2 on an Aeroflot flight before travelling into central London by train.

A former colonel in Russia's military intelligence (GRU), Skripal was arrested in 2006 on charges of spying for Britain.

They are thought to have been using the names as aliases and are about 40. Subsequently, in 2012, he visited the Czech Republic and in 2016 in Tallinn, which is probably provided information to local intelligence officers, which contributed to the expulsion of the operational staff of the Russian intelligence who worked under cover.

This was "part of a wider pattern of Russian behaviour that persistently seeks to undermine our security and that of our allies around the world", May said, promising further action to combat the GRU, and against Russia generally.

Police and prosecutors said there is sufficient evidence to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov with conspiring to murder Sergei Skripal and attempting to murder the ex-Russian spy, his daughter Yulia and Wiltshire Police detective sergeant Nick Bailey.

Petrov and Boshirov were seen returning to London later on Saturday, leaving Salisbury at 4.10pm and arriving in Bow at 8.05pm.

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London and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the poisoning, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow and plunging relations to a new low. The prosecutors said that the not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country's citizens.

It was on this day they allegedly carried out their attack - contaminating the front door of Skripal's house in the poison, with CCTV showing them in the area of the attack.

Police said they were still not absolutely certain that the bottle found by Rowley was the bottle used to apply Novichok to Sergei Skripal's front door.

Police are still trying to determine where the bottle was between the Skripal poisoning in March and its discovery by Rowley on June 27.

As a result, he said, police are not yet ready to bring charges in the second poisoning.

Peskov recalled that Russian Federation offered Britain cooperation in the investigation into the Skripal case from the very beginning, but Britain declined to accept it.

Six months after Russian double-agent Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, police have produced CCTV of the men's movements around Salisbury and London.

"It is believed that some of them are connected with the Kremlin", - says the publication.

While traces of Novichok were found in the London hotel room the suspects used, there is no risk to other guests who were staying at the hotel at the time, the Met Police said.

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