Russian Embassy: UK not informed via official channels about identified Skripal suspects

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     TV SENSATION The Novichok attack suspects have been interviewed by Russia Today

DS TV SENSATION The Novichok attack suspects have been interviewed by Russia Today

Two Russians accused of a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom have told Russian TV that they visited the city where the assault took place to see its historic cathedral, and not to poison a former spy.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan that they were in Salisbury as tourists, but cut their visit short due to "muddy slush everywhere".

On Wednesday, Russian President Putin said answering questions at the plenary session of the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum that the Skripal case suspects were well-known to Russian authorities and that they were civilians.

Replying to the interviewer's question why the pair went to Salisbury for two days in a row, Boshirov said that when they first got to the town it was snowy and they got wet so they chose to take the train back.

The pair claimed they have been left fearing for their lives after Britain pointed to their involvement and said they were officers in Russian military intelligence service the GRU.

Statements by the two Russians "are not credible", the British lawmaker who represents the city in parliament said on Thursday.

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March", it said.

The two men denied they were military intelligence officers and said they felt they deserved an apology from the real perpetrators of the poisoning, if they were ever found.

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British police released CCTV footage and photographs showing the two men walking in Skripal's neighborhood on March 4, the day of the attack.

"We arrived in Salisbury on 3 March and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow", Mr Petrov said. We know who they are, we have found them already.

They spent New Year's Eve in Switzerland and have been to Vienna, the pair said.

He called on the two men to contact the media and "tell about themselves" - which they then duly did.

The duo surfaced a day after President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation had located Petrov and Boshirov, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them.

Putin appeared to suggest they should tell their story publicly.

British intelligence found the novichok was stored in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle, but the two suspects said that would be a ridiculous way for them to transport poison, which they denied having, as it would be "silly for decent lads" to have women's perfume.

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