Putin: We’ve identified Skripal suspects

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Vladimir Putin says Russia has identified the men suspected of the Salisbury poisonings and that they are “civilians” not linked to the government.

“We know who they are, we have found them,” Mr Putin said at an economic forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

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

The Russian president denied they worked for the military and described them as “civilians”.

“I would like to call on them so that they can hear us today,” said Mr Putin.

“They should go to some media outlet. I hope they will come forward and tell about themselves.”

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Video: The full story behind the novichok poisonings

The UK government recently concluded the men were from Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.

Theresa May said it was not a “rogue operation” and their actions were “almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state”.

Police published a detailed photographic account of the men’s movements while in the UK.

Both suspects on Fisherton Road, Salisbury on March 4th 2018
Image: The suspects in Salisbury and the bottle police say held the novichok

It named them as Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov but said those names were probably false.

An Interpol “red notice” and a European arrest warrant have been issued for their arrest should they ever try to leave Russia.

Russia never extradites its citizens so the UK government did not bother asking. The Kremlin refused to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the suspect in the 2006 Alexander Litvinenko poisoning.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were attacked with novichok and found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March
Image: The Skripals eventually left hospital after treatment to save their lives

Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury in March this year.

More from Salisbury spy

Tests found they had been poisoned with the deadly nerve agent novichok.

The Skripals recovered but British woman Dawn Sturgess died after finding a discarded perfume bottle that authorities believe was used to transport the novichok.

From – SkyNews

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