Vladimir Putin: Nothing criminal about men named as Salisbury attack suspects
13 September, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Kim Reid
British prosecutors issued arrest warrants for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, charging them with conspiracy to murder and attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
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.
Russian Federation has hotly contested the allegations that it is responsible for the attack, and on Wednesday Mr Putin escalated the war of words by denying the men were members of military intelligence, and that his officials "know who these people are".
Skripal's niece Viktoria, who lives in Russia and often voices pro-Kremlin arguments on Russian television talk shows, told the Interfax news agency later on Wednesday that she knows "through her own sources" that the men identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are "ordinary men" who are "shocked" by the accusations.
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The island state is still recovering from Hurricane Lane, which brought flooding rains to many areas last month. The latest update shows Florence as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour .
The British government also released detailed surveillance footage tracking the pair's apparent movements and an image of the perfume bottle purportedly used to administer the nerve agent on the Skripals' front door.
'There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. Well, I hope they will come out themselves and speak about themselves. "We'll see in the near future", he added.
Mr Skripal and Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom, in March.
Mr Skripal is a former GRU agent who secretly spied for Britain before being pardoned by the Kremlin and exchanged with among others - glamour agent Anna Chapman.
Prime Minister Theresa May said Petrov and Boshirov are officers from Russia's intelligence service, also known as the GRU, whose attack was "almost certainly" authorized by the higher echelons of the Russian government.
Skripal, 66, a former Russian intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found unconscious on a park bench about four hours after the poison was planted.
Russian Federation has consistently denied any role in either incident.
The current forecast track suggests the hurricane will most likely approach North Carolina or SC on Thursday as it gathers speed. The hurricane's impacts could range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds.
The affair has worsened Russian relations with the West, already under strain over Ukraine, Syria and other issues. Detectives believe the front door of Mr Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with Novichok on March 4.
Some stronger, even severe storms are possible through Saturday evening as high winds and heavy rains would be the main threats. That storm, Tropical Storm Ike, produced four to six inches of rain over two-thirds of IL , which led to flash flooding.
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It uses average forecast errors of the last five years to predict a storm's path, said Dennis Feltgen of the center. Florence could hit the Carolinas harder than any hurricane since Hazel packed 130 miles per hour winds in 1954.
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