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Putin says Skripal poisoning suspects are not criminals

Putin urged the men to address the media saying there was "nothing criminal" about them, as he spoke at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

Putin says Skripal poisoning suspects are not criminals

Russia's Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that two men Britain suspects of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal with military-grade nerve agent had been identified as "civilians" and were not criminals."We know who they are, we have found them," Putin said at the forum attended by Japan's Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping. 

"They are civilians, of course," he said, apparently responding to a claim by the British authorities that the two suspects are members of Russia's military intelligence agency. 

"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell about themselves" to journalists, Putin said in comments that hinted they could make a public statement shortly.

"There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see in the near future." 

British authorities have issued European arrest warrants for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two suspected members of Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU.

They are accused of trying to kill Russian former spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Novichok nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4, in an attack London believes was sanctioned by the Kremlin.

The president himself had not communicated with the men since they were accused in the case, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists. 

Meanwhile, the Russia 24 state television channel played what it said was a call with suspect Petrov, who said he had "so far no comment, maybe later, next week, I think". 

Russian state media has reported that a man named Alexander Petrov worked for a pharmaceuticals company in the Siberian city of Tomsk and has denied any involvement in the case. 

Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2018, 16:49
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