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Russians charged in poisoning say they visited United Kingdom as tourists

13 September 2018

The officials also allege that the pair are military intelligence agents who were sent to the United Kingdom to poison the Skripals with the nerve agent Novichok.

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They said that if the real poisoners are found, they would like to hear an apology and would not have come forward if Russian President Vladimir Putin had not suggested it.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", one of the men said. They had stayed less than hour in Salisbury, they said, because of bad weather. "We got wet, took the train and came back [to London]", the pair told RT before adding that they returned to Salisbury the following day "to see the Old Sarum and the cathedral".

Mr Skripal - a former Russian military intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain's MI6 foreign intelligence service - and his daughter were found slumped unconscious on a bench in Salisbury in March. We know who they are, we have found them already.

The prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack have claimed they visited Salisbury as tourists.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on September 9 that Britain will catch the two men and bring them to prosecution if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

Mr Boshirov said: "When your life is turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go".

He said: "We're afraid of going out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones".

They confirmed they are the two men shown in CCTV pictures issued by the Metropolitan Police, saying they own the clothes they were pictured in and even bought their shoes in England.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning. We arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow.

"Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies".

"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". He called on them to contact the media.

Simonyan asked the men during the exchange whether they are GRU officers. "We didn't have it".

The journey was part of their holiday, they said, though they had also been in Europe to do business related to sports nutrition. They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", the two said. We went through the corridor together, we always [do it] together.

Despite the UK's claims, many questions remain over the pair's guilt.

Russians charged in poisoning say they visited United Kingdom as tourists