Putin says Russian Federation has found men accused by United Kingdom over poisoning

Skripal suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov in Gatwick Airport

Skripal suspects Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov in Gatwick Airport

The Russian president has said his officials know the true identities of the two men named by Britain as the prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

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".

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said, contradicting the British government's assertion that they are officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU.

British prosecutors issued a warrant for the suspects' arrest last week.

Shortly after the Skripals were attacked, Putin replied to a question about the attack, "Russia does not have such chemical agents".

Skripal, 66, a former Russian intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter were found unconscious on a park bench about four hours after the poison was planted. We'll see in the near future, ' he added.

Yulia and Sergei were discovered slumped on a bench in a critical condition - with the nerve agent also poisoning fearless policemen Sgt Nick Bailey, and later residents Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, who died.

The Metropolitan Police published the suspects' photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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He added with a smirk, "I hope they will soon appear and tell their own story".

Putin and Russian Federation have vehemently denied having anything to do with the poisoning.

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.

Mr Wallace later said requests for Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury had been met with "obfuscation and lies", saying their response merely "reinforces their guilt".

Mr Wallace, leading a Government debate on the Salisbury poisonings in the Commons today, said: "When a hostile state is determined to try and use its full resources to penetrate another state, the challenge is much greater".

The UK accused two men of attempting to assassinate a former Russian agent in England with military-grade nerve agent.

But Dawn Sturgess, 44, died July 8, after authorities said she and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, 48, had also been exposed to Novichok.

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