Putin: novichok suspects are innocent civilians

14 September, 2018, 18:31 | Author: Sheila Harris
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British authorities said the two men, who they identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, had been operating under aliases.

The British government has not responded to Putin's most recent comments.

"There's nothing special and criminal about it, I assure you".

Saying that there is "nothing criminal" about the two, Putin also hopes that the people in question will eventually come forward and talk to the media.

Britain has accused the men of working for GRU - Russia's military intelligence - and said the attack, which saw novichok smeared on Mr Skripal's door, was "almost certainly approved at a senior level of the Russian state". They spent weeks hospitalized in critical condition and are now recovering in a secret location for their own protection. "They are civilians, of course", before adding there is "nothing criminal" about Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. "I can see nothing to suggest that has changed".

Western officials say Russia's intelligence services have grown increasingly aggressive in their overseas activities. Also, a man who shares Petrov's name and birthday has been found to work for a Russian vaccine company.

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"If we do actually see these two men in front of TV cameras or sitting down with journalists, being quizzed on what this was all about, it would be interesting to see what their explanation is".

The suspects fled to Russian Federation, who won't extradite them, but they would be arrested if they entered any European Union country.

He said the government had exposed them as GRU operatives - and that is what they are. Rowley found the bottle months later and gave it to Sturgess, who is believed to have sprayed the substance on herself. Even less is known about Petrov. The Russian agents allegedly entered Britain on a kill mission after flying from Moscow to London Gatwick Airport.

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.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously rejected May's accusations, noting both the unacceptable tone of her statement and the necessity for a thorough and unbiased investigation which has been so far made impossible by London's unwillingness to cooperate with Moscow.

Associated Press writer Jim Heintz in Moscow and Jill Lawless in London contributed.

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