Russians Accused in UK Poisoning: 'Coincidence' They Were in Salisbury

  • Russians Accused in UK Poisoning: 'Coincidence' They Were in Salisbury

Russians Accused in UK Poisoning: 'Coincidence' They Were in Salisbury

Two men who identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told Russian state-funded news channel RT they travelled to the city of Wiltshire after friends recommended it.

Police said that they believed the names were aliases - but the two men insisted they were their real names and denied they were intelligence operatives.

Putin's claims were rejected Wednesday by James Slack, spokesman of British Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the men GRU officers "who used a devastatingly toxic illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country".

'We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March.

The two men told interviewer Margarita Simonyan they were civilians in the sports nutrition business.

"There's the famous Salisbury Cathedral, famous not only in Europe but in the whole world", he added moments later. "The one, the first ever created in the world that's still working", Boshirov said.

They said they may have approached Skripal's house by chance but did not know where it was located.

The City Stay Hotel, where Russian suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov stayed, is pictured in Bow, east London, on September 5, 2018. "But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage".

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom government said the two men who appeared on RT were the same men suspected of poisoning the Skripals.

In the TV broadcast, the men were asked why they went to Salisbury on two different days.

Skripal, his daughter, and a police officer were left gravely ill by exposure to Novichok in March.

"We arrived in Salisbury and tried to take a stroll around the city, but there was snow everywhere and we put up with it for not longer than half an hour", Petrov recalls.

"They are believed to have taken a similar route when they returned to London on the afternoon of Saturday, 3 March". You'll have to ask the English why show us with the same timestamp.

An image from footage released by Scotland Yard police shows suspect Alexander Petrov. If we go into further detail, our partners' interests may suffer.

The men say that their lives have been "turned upside down" by the allegations and want an apology. "So how did this happen?"

The two men were charged in absentia last week in the UK. British authorities say the GRU dispatched the agents to Salisbury to poison Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with the nerve agent Novichok. "If we had anything like that, this certainly would have raised some questions as to why a man has women's perfume in his luggage", Boshirov stressed. They denied that they carried a bottle of women's perfume where British authorities found traces of Novichok. "We didn't have it".

Putin urged the two men to speak to the journalists. It accused them of being agents of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.

British prosecutors said last week they had "sufficient evidence" to charge the two Russian nationals in connection with the attack on March 4.

"More importantly they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack", he said. Britain views the latest developments as "more obfuscation and lies" from the Putin government.

"On Sunday, 4 March, they made the same journey from the hotel, again using the underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05am, before continuing their journey by train to Salisbury".