Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin

Suspects in Skripal poisoning 'civilians, not criminals' - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that the two suspects in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are "civilians, not criminals".

"We know who these people are, we have found them", Putin said in response to question at panel for an economic conference in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East. "We know who they are, we have found them already". "It will be better for everyone".

"He added: "There is nothing special and nothing criminal about it, I" m telling you". That argument centred on how they made themselves overly visible to surveillance by taking the train to Salisbury and walking through the city, rather than going by private vehicle.

The duo had entered Britain on genuine passports, prosecutors said, while British Prime Minister Theresa May described them as military intelligence officers nearly certainly acting on orders from high up in the Russian state.

The comments came one week after United Kingdom authorities charged two Russian men with using Novichok nerve agent to poison former KGB spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Russian Federation had previously said the names given to them by British prosecutors were meaningless.

The two suspects behind the attack in Salisbury have been named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, while addressing a Parliament session, held Russian Federation accountable for the Salisbury attack and said that only Russian Federation had the motive to carry out the attack as well as the technical means and operational experience. "Maybe later. Next week, I think", he was quoted as saying.

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He said the pair are private citizens, not Russian agents, and urged them to speak out.

"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell about themselves", he said in comments that hinted they will make a public statement shortly.

The UK has said that it has sufficient evidence to charge the men but will not seek extradition of the suspects and instead will apply for a European arrest warrant.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey also fell ill after responding to the Salisbury incident.

Nerve agent attack: What is Novichok? . The Skripals were hospitalized for months but recovered.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital on 8 July.

Russian Federation has consistently denied any role in either incident. Investigators said the banned Soviet-era nerve agent novichok was found on the front door to their home.

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