Vladimir Putin says Russian Federation identified suspects in Novichok poisoning

Vladimir Putin says Russian Federation identified suspects in Novichok poisoning

The two men accused by the United Kingdom of carrying out a nerve agent attack have been identified and are civilians, not criminals, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has said.

Asked by the panel's moderator if the men work for the military, Putin replied that they are "civilians" and called on the men to come forward.

He added that he hoped the two men would "turn up themselves and tell everything".

We have checked what kind of people they are.

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

"When one country's prime minister accuses the leaders of another country of preparing a terrorist attack, from this point we can not proceed anywhere", he added. Saying the pair are private citizens, not Russian agents, Putin urged them to speak out.

Britain last week charged two alleged agents of Russia's military intelligence agency in absentia with the nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill after being exposed to the military grade nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in March.

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

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Mum-of-three Sturgess was the one fatality of the incident which plunged relations between Britain and Russian Federation to lows not seen since the Cold War.

The attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, southern England, also claimed two other victims: Dawn Sturgess, who died from the poisoning, and Charlie Rowley, who recovered.

He accused Britain of attempting "to unleash a disgusting anti-Russian hysteria".

British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that the two men who carried out the nerve agent attack were Russian spies.

London and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the poisoning, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow and plunging relations to a new low.

The Skripals spent weeks in hospital in a critical condition after the poisoning.

But a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU.

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service said it is not applying to Russian Federation for the two men's extradition, because Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals, according to the BBC.

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