Kremlin slams London’s reaction to interview with Skripal case suspects as ‘absurd’

CCTV footage of the two Russian suspects taken near the Skripal's home in Salisbury

CCTV footage of the two Russian suspects taken near the Skripal's home in Salisbury

The suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they were simply tourists catching the sights in Salisbury.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time we visit this wonderful town".

"Salisbury?" their interviewer asked.

"Maybe we were next to it [the house] but we don't even know where it is", Petrov said. It's famous not only in Europe, but in the whole world.

Talking about his "contempt" for the Putin regime, he said: "When I became foreign secretary I thought there was no objective reason why we should be quite so hostile to Russian Federation".

London renewed its assertions that the men were officers of the Russian military intelligence service GRU and lied about their involvement in the poisoning of one-time Russian agent Sergei Skripal.

The men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told RT that they made the trek from Moscow for a three day visit to the British town of Salisbury last March for the objective of sightseeing - and not, as the United Kingdom government alleges, to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

The two men's actual identities are a matter of dispute.

The two men, who appeared deeply uncomfortable, identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the names British prosecutors said were used by the poisoners.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said any request from London to interview them would be considered in "strict accordance with the law" but so far the British had rejected any offer to co-operate in the investigation, the Tass news agency reported. "But the Petrov/Borishov statements are not credible and don't match the widely accepted intelligence we have on these individuals". We're ordinary businessmen trying to make it in the fitness industry.

"When your life is turned upside down in a moment?" They added that they would like to receive an apology from British officials.

Police say the first visit was to stake out the town and the second to poison the Skripals.

RT Petrov and Boshirov appearing on Russian State TV earlier this week. They denied the allegation and Russian Federation refused to extradite them.

An except of the full interview was shown on RT News on Thursday morning, and an additional transcript can be seen here. When you go through customs, they check all your belongings. They claim they were merely tourists visiting the English town of Salisbury at the time the poisoning happened.

The pair were asked whether they had been in the vicinity of the Skripals' house, which is where police claim the suspects sprayed the Novichok.

"Ofcom looks at these cumulatively", Stephens said, "but there comes a point when there are so many breaches that they aren't regarded as a fit and proper person to carry a license".

"They then travelled on London public transport to Waterloo station and were in the area between approximately 6pm and 7pm".

Tests on the east London hotel room where the suspects had stayed showed contamination of Novichok.

Moscow could avoid these sanctions if it meets a November deadline to allow on-site inspections of facilities linked to the chemical used in the March attempt to kill former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England and provides a "verifiable" assurance that it won't used banned chemical weapons again.

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