Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Putin says two Skripal suspects are civilians

Putin says two Skripal suspects are civilians

British prosecutors charged two Russian nationals, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, last week for allegedly poisoning former spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade nerve agent in the city of Salisbury in March.

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

British officials have said the men were agents of Russian military intelligence dispatched to kill Sergei Skripal, a Russian ex-spy who had given information to the British.

Scotland Yard has issued a European arrest warrant for Petrov and Boshirov, who have not been seen publicly since the attack in March.

Britain has said the two suspects were Russian military intelligence officers nearly certainly following orders from the Kremlin, which has denied any involvement in the incidents.

Theresa May previously announced the pair were Russian military intelligence officials, there was "hard evidence" against them and "this was not a rogue operation. nearly certainly" approved at a "senior level of the Russian state".

British police released a batch of photos of the the men it identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - names that investigators said were likely aliases used for the operation.

Putin said they were civilians who did not work for the military.

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'I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything.

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.

Mr Skripal and his daughter were left in a critical condition after they were exposed to Novichok but are now recovering.

Prime Minister Theresa May said intelligence showed the poisonings were state-sponsored by Russian Federation.

The failed attack triggered a major diplomatic crisis between the United Kingdom and Russian Federation, with the British government alleging Moscow was responsible for their attempted murder.

The statement by Putin marked an abrupt shift from Russia's earlier position on the poisoning case that has damaged relations between Moscow and the West.

Thinking it was expensive perfume, Rowley then gave it to his girlfriend, Sturgess, who applied the poison to her wrists and died.

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