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Putin on Novichok Suspects: 'We Have Found Them'

14 September, 2018, 16:38 | Author: Lucille Rivera
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The two suspects in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are civilians, not criminals, Russian President Vladimir Putin says.

The British government recently said Scotland Yard detectives had identified Mr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov as suspects, who they said were from Russia's foreign military intelligence agency, the GRU.

Asked about the case on Wednesday at the eastern economic forum in Vladivostok, Mr Putin tried to shift the blame away from the Russian state, insisting that the two men were "civilians".

On March 4, Skripal and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

Vladimir Putin said he knows who and where they are, but that there was "nothing criminal" about their actions. 'We hope they will turn up very soon and will tell everything themselves. This would be best for everyone.

"There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you".

"When one country's prime minister accuses the leaders of another country of preparing a terrorist attack, from this point we can not proceed anywhere", he added. Now Britain's near blanket surveillance coverage is being hailed as key to tracking a pair of Russian men who stand accused of attempted murder in the March attack using the nerve agent novichok.

For months, British and USA authorities have blamed the Kremlin for the attack, and London said Boshirov and Petrov were Russian intelligence agents.

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The Metropolitan Police published the suspects' photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. The Brits have leveled charges against them, while not having much in the way of expectations that they'll ever get their hands on them.

Britain blames Russian Federation for the poisonings but Moscow denies any involvement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected British allegations that the Russians suspected of carrying out a nerve-agent attack on a former spy in the United Kingdom are intelligence agents and called on them to go public, making his first official comments on the charges. Sturgess's boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, also fell ill.

The attack in Salisbury prompted an worldwide row, with more than 20 countries expelling Russian envoys in solidarity with the United Kingdom, including the U.S., while Moscow expelled diplomats in response.

An Interpol Red Notice and European arrest warrant have been issued, though the Russian Constitution forbids them from being extradited. "The government has exposed the role of the GRU, its operatives and its methods, this position is supported by our worldwide allies", the spokesman told reporters.

The case has strong echoes of the poisoning of ex-Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in Britain in 2006.

Theresa May previously announced the pair were Russian military intelligence officials, there was "hard evidence" against them and "this was not a rogue operation. nearly certainly" approved at a "senior level of the Russian state". Britain spent years trying in vain to prosecute the prime suspects, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun.

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