Russians accused by United Kingdom 'victims of coincidence'

Danny Woods
September 13, 2018

Two Russians resembling men Britain accuses of jetting to England to murder a former spy said on Thursday that they were innocent tourists who had flown to London for fun and visited the city of Salisbury to see its cathedral.

The men, who identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, denied any involvement in the attack on Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, in March.

The men also denied that they had smuggled the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Skripal, and four other people, into Britain disguised as perfume.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time we visit this wonderful town". They then chose to return the next day.

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March and they have replied with obfuscation and lies", Slack said.

The two Russian men, who say they are both about 40, were identified last week as suspects by the British government.

Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 said Mr Petrov would give an interview to them next week, but just a day later both suspects have spoken to RT. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back to London".

RT ran part of the interview on Thursday morning, in which Petrov said: "We are those shown to you in the (CCTV) pictures".

"Well, we came there [to the UK] on 2 March, then went to a railway station to see the timetable".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement.

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Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley fell ill after Rowley found a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume containing Novichok and brought it home.

But Salisbury MP John Glen said their statements are not credible and what they have said does not match intelligence the United Kingdom has on them.

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

"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".

"Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that #Salisbury has to offer".

Asked whether they had recently been to any European state, the two said they had.

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.

They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged. Boshirov said. He went on to claim that if they had such an item in their luggage, it would have been hard to get past airport customs agents without arousing suspicion. Boshirov also called on the United Kingdom to apologize for the allegations, claiming their lives had been "turned upside down". At the airport, we always go down one corridor. "Isn't it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?"

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", the two said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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