Culture&Arts

Russians accused of poisoning ex-spy say they were just ‘tourists’

Russians accused of poisoning ex-spy say they were just ‘tourists’

The British police released CCTV images last week showing two men in their forties, who they say used the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to enter the country, traveling to and from Salisbury on the weekend in March that Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", one of the men said of the English town of Salisbury in a short clip of the interview played by RT.

Assistant Secretary of State, Manisha Singh, told a congressional hearing that Russian Federation has not yet accepted demands that it come clean about its production of the Novichok nerve agent used in the March 4 attempt to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

Boshirov acknowledged the pair may have been near Mr Skripal's house, but claimed they did not know where it was.

The journey was part of their holiday, they said, though they had also been in Europe to do business related to sports nutrition.

Walters also highlighted that the weather conditions apparently did not deter the two from walking an even greater distance to the Srkipal home, which they said in the interview that they might have approached.

The men denied they work for Russian military intelligence and described themselves as businessmen. "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. They visited Salisbury twice by train on day trips - on the Saturday for reconnaissance and on the Sunday to poison Skripal. "But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage", Tweeted John Glen, the Member of Parliament for Salisbury.

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A handout picture taken at Salisbury train station in Salisbury, west of London on March 3, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov.

Surveillance camera footage of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two suspects in the Skripal attack, at Salisbury train station the day before Skripal collapsed.

Mr Boshirov said: "When your life is turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go". "These are civilians", he said this week.

The interview "looks as though it was hurriedly thrown together in response to Putin's decision", said Mark Galeotti, senior researcher at the Prague-based Institute of International Relations and an expert on Russian security matters.

You'd better ask them why we're seen at the same second, at the same time, but separately. They claimed to be tourists who were visiting the city where the assault took place to see its historic cathedral and denied any involvement in the attack.

"I think this is likely they will be found to be in breach of broadcasting code with regard to their failure to balance their coverage", Banister Dean said. They recovered after treatment in the hospital.

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.

When asked about the Nina Ricci perfume bottle allegedly used to spray the Novichok nerve agent on the Skripals front door, Boshirov said the pair didn't have it.


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