United Kingdom slams 'deeply offensive' interview with Skripal poisoning suspects

15 September, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • Novichok suspects. Pic Russia Today

The men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told RT that they made the trek from Moscow for a three day visit to the British town of Salisbury last March for the objective of sightseeing - and not, as the United Kingdom government alleges, to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Petrov and Boshirov made their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel.

"What were you doing there?"

They said they only stayed an hour in Salisbury on Saturday 3 March because of the snowy weather conditions, but returned on Sunday 4 March to visit the sights.

"The notion that two people would travel several thousands of miles to Salisbury Cathedral and expect us to believe that it was just an innocent tourist trip on the same day that one of their former countrymen and his daughter were taken ill with Novichok poisoning is absurd", Mr Glen added. It accused them of being agents of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whom the United Kingdom accuse of trying to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a nerve agent in Salisbury, appeared on Russian television, saying they were in the English town as tourists.

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The two men stressed they wanted the media and everyone else to leave them alone.

In a translation from Russian, the pair told RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan they worked in the fitness industry. We know who they are, we found them.

"Crucially, at least one man's passport files contain various "top-secret" markings, which, according to at least two sources consulted by Bellingcat, are typically reserved for members of secret services or top state operatives", it added. "What we're see here is Putin just continuing to play with us because he can".

The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.

RT's Simonyan noted during the interview that the United Kingdom authorities have accused the men of being members of Russian military intelligence. Investigators say Novichok, the nerve agent used in the attack, was carried in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle.

They also confirmed that they had travelled to Europe before.

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The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom on Thursday, even as it faces multiple ongoing investigations by media regulator Ofcom into its coverage of the attack in March. They recovered after treatment in the hospital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Friday that Russian authorities will consider Britain's request to interrogate them if it comes. And the exotic poison is also blamed for the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, in July, after her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, gave her what turned out to be a bottle of bogus perfume that contained the nerve agent.

"Alexander Petrov" and "Ruslan Boshirov" were ridiculed yesterday after claiming they visited the unlikely tourist destination on the recommendation of friends.

The pair said their lives were turned upside down after they were publicly named by United Kingdom police. Why would two decent guys be walking around with women's perfume?

The pair said that they had never dealt with the media before and if Putin had not urged them to speak out they would have recorded a video statement.

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