Putin says two Skripal poisoning suspects are ‘civilians’


United Kingdom authorities have named the men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, thought to be officers of Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU. Shortly after the Skripals were attacked, Putin replied to a question about the attack, "Russia does not have such chemical agents".

The two men accused by the United Kingdom of carrying out a nerve agent attack have been identified and are civilians, not criminals, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has said.

Britain's security minister, Ben Wallace, said on September 6 that Putin "ultimately" bears responsibility for the poisoning because "it is his government that controls, funds, and directs the military intelligence".

Russian Federation has hotly contested the allegations that it is responsible for the attack, and on Wednesday Mr Putin escalated the war of words by denying the men were members of military intelligence, and that his officials "know who these people are".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incidents. He appeared to be implying that they were not the people who carried out the poisoning. Saying the pair are private citizens, not Russian agents, Putin urged them to speak out.

London and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the poisoning, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow and plunging relations to a new low. This would be best for everyone.

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"There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you". "We'll see in the near future".

A woman near Salisbury, Dawn Sturgess, died in July and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill after Rowley found a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume containing Novichok and brought it home.

Rowley in July unwittingly picked up a fake perfume bottle, which the perpetrators filled with nerve agent meant to poison Skripal and made to look like it was from a designer brand.

British officials earlier this month charged the two men in absentia with the attempted murder with novichok of Sergei Skripal, as well as his daughter and a policeman who investigated the scene.

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 Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on September 9 that Britain will catch the two men and bring them to prosecution if they ever step out of Russian Federation.