Vladivostok: Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the two men whom Britain suspect of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent, are not criminals and have been identified as civilians.
Speaking at an economic forum with Japan's Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, Putin urged the men to address the media and said: "There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see in the near future."
"We know who they are, we have found them," Putin said. "They are civilians, of course," he added, apparently responding to a claim by the British authorities that the two suspects are members of Russia's military intelligence agency.a
Putin urged the two men to speak to journalists. "I hope they will turn up themselves and tell about themselves," he said.
British authorities have issued European arrest warrants for Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, two suspected members of Russian military intelligence, the GRU. They are accused of trying to kill former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Novichok nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on 4 March, in an attack London believes was sanctioned by the Kremlin.
The British government has said Putin is ultimately responsible for the attack, a claim the Kremlin has strongly denied.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Sep 12, 2018 15:46:30 IST