Putin says two Skripal poisoning suspects are 'civilians'

Russia must sever diplomatic ties with Britain over Skripal case – leftist party leader

Russia must sever diplomatic ties with Britain over Skripal case – leftist party leader

There's nothing special and criminal about it, I assure you.

The British government has said Putin is ultimately responsible for the attack, a claim the Kremlin has strongly denied.

Putin on Wednesday did not try to dispute the British evidence, but he insisted the men were innocent.

British police released a batch of photos of the the men it identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - names that investigators said likely were aliases used for the operation. Well, I hope they will come out themselves and speak about themselves.

Prime Minister Theresa May said police and prosecutors now believe the attack on Sergei Skripal was carried out by two Russian military intelligence officers who were nearly certainly acting with the approval of senior Russian officials.

Skripal - a former GRU colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service - and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in the English city of Salisbury in March.

Wednesday, Putin said neither were not part of the GRU, a Russian intelligence agency. I would like to appeal to them so that they hear us today.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters that Putin never met the suspects in the poisoning and that Russian Federation did not investigate them but merely "checked the reports".

"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. "They are just ordinary civilians", Putin told a session at an economic forum in Vladivostok broadcast on state TV.

Police are linking the attack to a separate Novichok poisoning on 30 June, when Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley became unwell at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles away.

Russian Federation has consistently denied any role in either incident. "Hours after their final visit to Salisbury, they took a late-night flight back to Moscow on March 4 - the same day the Skripals were sickened". Russian Federation kicked out a similar number of those countries' envoys.

Police said Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley were later exposed to Novichok after handling a contaminated container, labelled as Nina Ricci Premier Jour perfume. Russian news agency Fontanka has found traffic tickets and a Moscow apartment registered to Boshirov, but none of the neighbors know him.