United Kingdom accuses Russian Federation of lies after Salisbury suspects claim to be tourists


London's reaction to a recent interview of Russia's RT channel with two men suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is absurd, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

But last week, Britain identified two Russians it said carried out the assassination attempt and said they were officers of the GRU Russian military intelligence service.

"What were you doing there?"

"Alexander Petrov" and "Ruslan Boshirov" were ridiculed yesterday after claiming they visited the unlikely tourist destination on the recommendation of friends.

"It's famous for its 123-metre spire, it's famous for its clock, one of the first ever created in the world that's still working".

In the TV broadcast, the men were asked why they went to Salisbury on two different days.

"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.

Military forces work on a van in Winterslow, England, on March 12, 2018, as investigations continue into the nerve-agent poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The U.S., France, Canada and Germany said they had "full confidence" in the U.K.'s assessment that the two suspects were Russian agents and that the operation "was with the greatest probability approved at high levels of the government". The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.

"We walked around and enjoyed this English Gothic architecture", he said.

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"They said if they found the pictures they would send them to me but I am still waiting".

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described the two men as "civilians".

When asked if British investigators could visit Russian Federation to question Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whom London suspects of being involved in the Salisbury incident, Peskov said that there was a legal assistance mechanism based on bilateral agreements and global law. "Our plan was to spend some time in London and then to visit Salisbury", Petrov said. But they denied any involvement with the poisoning. Clark asked before adding: "We got no evidence that they actually returned home".

Britain identified the Russian suspects last week and released security-camera photos of them in Salisbury on March 3 and 4. They said they had fallen victim to a "fantastical fatal coincidence".

The two men said they may have passed by Skripal's house, but they did not know him. "We'll see soon enough", he said.

Boshirov did not react to the interviewer's request to show the pictures they took on that trip, only saying that he found Salisbury Cathedral "very attractive". I hope they will come out themselves and speak about themselves.

They said they spent no more than an hour in the English city and left because of bad weather.

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.

However, a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU, and UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that the men will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation.