Skripal suspects interview: Key excerpts

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

Two men suspected of targeting the Skripals with novichok have denied being Russian agents or having anything to do with the poisoning. British officials say they know the real names of the pair.

United Kingdom authorities have pinned the poisoning on two Russian men they believe are intelligence officers, and charged them in their absence with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok.

Then, days later, President Vladimir Putin vouched for them as just ordinary guys and anything but would-be hit men.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", Mr Petrov said.

The Salisbury Cathedral is only a 15-minute walk from the local train station, heading northwest. After a brief pause, he added that the town is known for its cathedral, which is "famous not only in Europe, but in the whole world".

"We are two guys in the fitness business, our burning desire was to see the famous spire of Salisbury Cathedral".

A government spokesman said: 'The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Yet despite their apparent desire to see Salisbury's sights they spent just two hours in the city, according to British police.

They confirmed they are the two men shown in CCTV pictures issued by the Metropolitan Police, saying they own the clothes they were pictured in and even bought their shoes in England.

More news: Turkey says Erdogan will meet Putin on Monday for Syria talks
More news: Hurricane Florence is producing waves as high as 83 feet
More news: LOIS LANE Cast for DC-CW Crossover, and She's a Lookalike

The two men's story, particularly their claim that they cut their visit short because of cold weather, and a light dusting of snow, was widely mocked by foreign correspondents in Moscow.

The men, who appeared to be about 40, claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived.

The Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen, said the interview made by the suspects to RT is "not credible" and "does not match intelligence we have on the individuals", Sky News reported.

An except of the full interview was shown on RT News on Thursday morning, and an additional transcript can be seen here.

Their second trip to Salisbury took nearly four hours on Sunday, and they stayed for about the same length of time.

Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov speak with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow.

British investigators say the poison was transported in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed onto the handle of Skripal's door. Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Russia's Far East, described Petrov and Boshirov as regular citizens and definitely not "criminals".

"And finally on March 4 this year we had this outrageous event in Salisbury, Wiltshire, when two agents of the GRU were involved in the murder of Dawn Sturgess and attempted murder of others". They then chose to return the next day. The former Russian spy and his daughter were found collapsed on 4 March; the police officer fell ill after trying to help them.

The Skripal case has been likened by British politicians to the murder of Russian dissident ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006.

But while most people seem to have accepted the UK Government's accusations as being the most likely explanation for the actions of the two men, some UK commentators are still clinging to the idea it is some sort of anti-Russia propaganda.

Recommended News

  • Trump Admin SLAMS 'SHAMEFUL' John Kerry over 'Shadow Diplomacy — KERRY UNDER FIRE

    Trump Admin SLAMS 'SHAMEFUL' John Kerry over 'Shadow Diplomacy — KERRY UNDER FIRE

    "What is unseemly and unprecedented is for the podium of the State Department to be hijacked for political theatrics". He has also accused the Trump administration of pursuing a policy of regime change in Iran.
    Britain and EU 'closing in' on a Brexit agreement, says Dominic Raab

    Britain and EU 'closing in' on a Brexit agreement, says Dominic Raab

    Thousands of Irish people living in Britain will have their rights protected even if there is a "No Deal" Brexit comes to pass next March.

    Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

    Hours earlier, streets along the coast had been transformed into raging streams, and massive waves surged along the Outer Banks. Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington , and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.
  • NASA posts incredible video of Hurricane Florence from space

    NASA posts incredible video of Hurricane Florence from space

    Forecasts generally project Florence to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina on Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane. Forecasters said Florence could become an extremely risky major hurricane sometime Monday and remain that way for days.
    Over-65s to receive new flu vaccine after previous ones found 'ineffective'

    Over-65s to receive new flu vaccine after previous ones found 'ineffective'

    Getting the vaccine if you are eligible and practising good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent yourself from getting flu. The formula will be available for people aged 65 and over but all eligible age groups are being asked to get a free vaccine.
    NOAA: Sub-Tropical Storm Joyce Projected Path, Spaghetti Models

    NOAA: Sub-Tropical Storm Joyce Projected Path, Spaghetti Models

    A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. Some coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds. "The rain's going to be around for a long time", he said.
  • Samuel Vargas: Manny Pacquiao Will Stop Amir Khan!

    Samuel Vargas: Manny Pacquiao Will Stop Amir Khan!

    Thrilling, exciting, but always vulnerable. "I want Manny Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao is my No. 1 pick", Khan declared. Khan returned to the ring following a two-year hiatus in April, when he demolished Phil Lo Greco in 39 seconds.

    IPhone X Cases Will Fit iPhone XS And Vice Versa

    The iPhone Xr that is equipped with a 6.1-inch LCD screen is packed with 3 GB of RAM. The products that will be available includes iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR .
    Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas as it nears landfall

    Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas as it nears landfall

    Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina. "We might leave", she said. It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington , North Carolina.
  • Trump Denies Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll

    Trump Denies Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria Death Toll

    San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz responded: "Simply put: delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality". Last month, Puerto Rican officials commissioned an independent study that declared an increased death toll to 2,975.
    Hurricane Florence expected To Be 'catastrophic'

    Hurricane Florence expected To Be 'catastrophic'

    The main threat from this storm will likely be inland flooding . "There is overwash but nothing we are not used to", she said. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

    Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

    In Pender County, North Carolina , a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. Super Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to hit an area in the Philippines on Saturday that would affect 5.2 million people.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.