Putin says Salisbury suspects are civilians, not criminals

Russian journalists being refused at the London hotel where the two novichok suspects stayed

Russian journalists being refused at the London hotel where the two novichok suspects stayed

Mr Skripal was a former GRU agent, before defecting and aiding the UK.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Putin said: "We know who they are, we have found them".

Asked by the panel's moderator if the men work for the military, Putin replied that they are "civilians".

Together with Boshirov, Petrov is accused of being an agent of the GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye) agency, which is the main military foreign intelligence service of Russian Federation. Putin said they were civilians.

The attack left Sergei Skripal, 67, and Yulia Skripal, 34, in critical condition, but both have recovered after weeks in the hospital.

British officials demanded at a meeting with Russia's charge d'affaires that those responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals were brought to justice.

President Putin said yesterday that Russian Federation had identified the two men accused by Britain of carrying out the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, and insisted that they were innocent of the charges against them.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that the two men who carried out the nerve agent attack were Russian spies.

Putin said he wants the suspects to come forward and talk to the media.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestured as he addressed the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg in late July.

Following the latest revelations, France, Germany, Canada and the United States endorsed Britain's assessment that Russian military officers were involved and urged Russia to provide "full disclosure" of its Novichok nerve-agent program.

"Of course, we looked who these people are". "And with the new software they have, you can tell the person by the way they walk, or a ring they wear, or a watch they wear". This would be best for everyone.

'There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you.

Scotland Yard released CCTV images of the two suspects at Salisbury train station on the day of the attack.

Police didn't test the budget City Stay Hotel for Novichok until two months after the attack, but Basu said the tiny quantity of nerve agent found there did not pose a risk to other guests. His partner, Ms Sturgess, applied some of the contents to her wrists and became unwell. Sturgess's boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, also fell ill.

A composite image showing the fake perfume box and bottle that contained the nerve agent meant to poison former spy Sergei Skripal.

Detectives believe it is likely the two suspects, thought to be aged around 40, travelled under aliases and that Petrov and Boshirov are not their real names.

British authorities said they were also poisoned with Novichok.

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