Russian Federation says Skripal poisoning suspects are 'civilians'

Police stand guard outiside the City Stay hotel in Bow east London Britain 05 September

Police stand guard outiside the City Stay hotel in Bow east London Britain 05 September

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia knew the real identity of two men accused by British prosecutors of trying to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain.

"We know who these people are, we have found them", Putin said at a panel at an economic conference in Vladivostok.

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said, contradicting the British government's assertion that they are officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU.

Britain last week charged two men in absentia, identifying them as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

In the months following the attack, Britain and other countries pointed the finger of blame at Russian Federation but the nation has denied any involvement.

British Prime Minister Theresa May squarely blamed Russia's military intelligence service on September 5 for carrying out the attack, adding that the upper echelons of the Russian state could also have been involved. We'll see in the near future, ' he added.

British police released a batch of photos of the the men it identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - names that investigators said were likely aliases used for the operation.

"The president has not communicated with them", Peskov said. "We have found them just to figure out who they are".

More news: IPhone XS, XS Max and XR Supercut in less than 5 minutes

Mr Skripal and Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury, in the United Kingdom, in March.

"I hope they will soon appear and tell their own story", Putin added with a smirk during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping.

Mr Wallace later said requests for Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury had been met with "obfuscation and lies", saying their response merely "reinforces their guilt".

Moscow has vehemently denied it is responsible for the poisoning.

One week ago, Ed talked about the two Russian GRU agents blamed by Britain for the poisoning attack.

The Skripals' poisoning by the deadly nerve agent Novichok triggered a tense diplomatic showdown.

Ms Sturgess died while Mr Rowley remains in hospital fighting meningitis after his body was severely weakened by exposure to the military grade poison.

Britain and dozens of other countries kicked out scores of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the Skripals, and Moscow responded tit-for-tat with an identical number of expulsions.

Latest News