Putin says Russian Federation found men accused of Skripal poisoning

Putin says Russian Federation found men accused of Skripal poisoning

- President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the two Russians named by Britain as suspects in the spy poisoning case do not work for the military and that there is "nothing criminal" about them.

"We know who they are, we have found them", Mr Putin said in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. "These are civilians", Putin said in remarks reported by Russian news agencies.

Britain says the two men flew from Moscow to London in early March, from where they travelled to Salisbury in England and attempted to kill the Skripals.

Putin urged the men to speak to journalists.

They're just a couple of guys, you know? "We'll see in the near future".

If they do so, it would not be the first time accused Russian assassins have answered global allegations through the Russian media.

British prosecutors issued European arrest warrants last week for Petrov and Boshirov, charging them with conspiracy to murder.

Mr Skripal and daughter Yulia were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok in the city of Salisbury on March 4th.

Moscow continues to deny everything, claiming the attack was staged by Britain to stoke up anti-Russia sentiment in Britain.

Officers have formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury when Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.

After the poisoning, Britain and more than two dozen other countries expelled a total of 150 Russian spies working under diplomatic cover.

Ms Sturgess died while Mr Rowley remains in hospital fighting meningitis after his body was severely weakened by exposure to the military grade poison.

Britain has said the two suspects were Russian military intelligence officers nearly certainly following orders from the Kremlin, which has denied any involvement in the incidents.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisoning, casting it as part of a Western plot to smear Russian Federation to justify more sanctions against it.

United Kingdom prosecutors said they had "sufficient evidence" to charge the pair, but did not formally demand their extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens.

They said they would not formally demand the men's extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens, but have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for the pair.

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