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

RT airs interview with Russians accused in United Kingdom poisoning

RT airs interview with Russians accused in United Kingdom poisoning

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When the interviewer asked them whether they had Novichok or any poison with them, they emphatically said no.

"Our friends recommended a long time ago that we visit that wonderful city", the man identifying himself as Petrov told RT. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back [to London]".

Southwestern Railway confirmed to Sky News there were engineering works that weekend and no direct trains from London to Salisbury, so they would have had to change at Basingstoke.

Mr Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who are recovering at a safe house in the United Kingdom, were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March, having been poisoned with the nerve agent novichok.

He called on the two men to contact the media and "tell about themselves" - which they then duly did.

"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?", RT quoted Boshirov as saying in remarks translated into English. "When your life is turned upside down in a moment?"

"We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones".

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom government said the two men who appeared on RT were the same men suspected of poisoning the Skripals. "But the Petrov/Borishov statements are not credible and don't match the widely accepted intelligence we have on these individuals". The Metropolitan Police published the suspects' photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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"The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country", the statement said. "We were on vacation in Switzerland... we traveled both for business and vacation", Petrov said, adding that they once celebrated the New Year in Switzerland.

"Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies". The UK has described them as agents of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

"From the very start we planned to go to London and, put bluntly, cut loose and have some fun", he said in the interview which was pre-recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Thursday.

The affair returned to the headlines in July when a woman near Salisbury, Dawn Sturgess, died and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill after Mr Rowley found a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume containing the Novichok nerve agent and brought it home. Simonyan tweeted in Russian earlier that Petrov and Boshirov had "refused to give interviews to anyone else, not even our journalists, as they said, they know me on the air and read my social networks and therefore, again they said they trust me". "We didn't have it". They'd been "extremely nervous and sweating" during the interview and it's for viewers to decide whether to believe them, she said. They recovered after treatment in the hospital.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements.

We didn't have it", Boshirov said.

"One goes, the other waits". How did it happen?

"For its part, Russian Federation has sent over 60 requests to United Kingdom, receiving no meaningful reply".

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