'Skripal suspects' tell Russian media they visited Britain as tourists

Irene MckinneySep 13, 2018

In this video grab provided by the RT channel, Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov attend their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

A still image taken from a video footage and released by RT global news channel on September 13, 2018, shows two Russian men with the same names, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as those accused by Britain over the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, during an interview at an unidentified location, Russia.

They said they may have approached Skripal's house by chance but did not know where it was located.

"Our friends recommended a long time ago that we visit that wonderful city", the man identifying himself as Petrov told RT. In a word, we are in the fitness industry - everything that concerns sports nutrition: "vitamins, microelements, proteins and weight gainers", Petrov said. The town was covered by this slush.

"Of course, we went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere", they told RT.

Salisbury MP John Glen tweeted: "Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that Salisbury has to offer".

"If the real perpetrations are found, I hope at least they (the British) will apologize to us", Petrov said.

British police released CCTV footage and photographs showing the two men walking in Skripal's neighbourhood on March 4, the day of the attack.

Both men sounded distressed as they spoke about how their lives had changed since they were named in the United Kingdom as Russian intelligence agents who attempted to poison the Skripals.

They claimed to have had nothing to do with the attack on Segrei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were poisoned when the pair were in Salisbury in March.

Britain accused Russian Federation of responding with "obfuscation and lies" after the RT interview was aired this morning.

The Kremlin-backed station aired the interview a day after President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation had identified the men sought by Britain and urged them to address the media. "But very unusual to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage", tweeted John Glen, the Member of Parliament for Salisbury who is also a government minister.

British officials had a more sinister explanation: Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were highly trained military intelligence agents sent by the Kremlin to Salisbury to smear a deadly nerve agent on the front door of a former Russian spy.

RT's Simonyan noted during the interview that the United Kingdom authorities have accused the men of being members of Russian military intelligence. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London, they told RT, Russia's state-run global broadcaster.

They claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived.

"When your life is turned upside down in a moment?"

Petrov said he and Boshirov had flown to London for a short leisure break, with Salisbury always intended as a day trip.

"We pick up the most necessary, come here and decide how to deliver the new products from this market here".

When the interviewer asked them whether they had Novichok or any poison with them, they emphatically said no.

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