Skripal poisoning: Suspects say they were in Salisbury to see cathedral

Skripal poisoning: Suspects say they were in Salisbury to see cathedral

RT aired an interview with the two men suspected by United Kingdom authorities of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

In the RT interview, the two men said they're not Russian agents, describing themselves as "second-tier businessmen" in the fitness industry. We planned a vacation in London, and went to Salisbury to see the cathedral, Old Sarum, and Stonehenge, but on March 3 there was heavy snowfall, so we couldn't get around town easily.

Britain last week charged Boshirov and Petrov in absentia, alleging they were agents of Russia's military intelligence agency known as the GRU who were dispatched to Salisbury to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the nerve agent Novichok.

The two men had some physical similarities to the men shown in British police images.

Ofcom said in April that since the Salisbury attack they had observed "a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code". They may have approached Sergei Skripal's house by chance, but did not know where it was located, they said.

British prosecutors said last week they had "sufficient evidence" to charge the two Russian nationals in connection with the attack on March 4.

The interview comes a day after President Vladimir Putin said the two men were not criminals, reversing his government's previous claims that the names given by London were meaningless.

Simonyan's announcement comes a day after President Vladimir Putin said Russian Federation had located Petrov and Boshirov, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them. "I have seen nothing to suggest that has changed".

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

'We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March.

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A handout picture taken at Salisbury train station in Salisbury, west of London on March 3, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov.

He wrote on Twitter: 'Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov [sic] were able to see the world-class attractions that #Salisbury has to offer.

Boshirov said: "There's the famous Salisbury Cathedral, famous not just in Europe, but in the whole world".

"The customs are checking everything", Boshirov said.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", the two said.

Many news organizations would likely chase an interview with the suspects.

The affair returned to the headlines in July when a woman near Salisbury, Dawn Sturgess, died and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill after Mr Rowley found a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume containing the Novichok nerve agent and brought it home.

Simonyan said during the interview that the two men called her cellphone, asking to tell their story. He urged to contact the media, and Petrov said he heard Putin's statement on the radio and contacted Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief who conducted the interview.

The City Stay Hotel, where Russian suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov stayed, is pictured in Bow, east London, on September 5, 2018.

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