Russia: UK's novichok interview allegations 'absurd'

Two Russians deny involvement in UK Novichok poisoning: 'We went there to see Stonehenge'

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov told RT's editor-in-chief they had nothing to do with the Skripals' poisoning.

The men raised eyebrows when they said they had been to the cathedral city twice in two days because heavy snow forced them to turn back on their first visit. So, he said, they made a decision to take the train back to Salisbury the following day.

One senior security source said of the pair that the United Kingdom government "is clear they are GRU" (Russian foreign intelligence), and used a "devastatingly toxic" weapon on Britain's streets. It's famous for its 123-metre spire.

CCTV footage showing Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, on March 4.

Two Russian men accused by Britain of carrying out the March poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England, said Thursday it was just an "incredible, fatal coincidence" they were in the city at the time of the attack. She asked why they spent so much time together, insinuating that perhaps they were gay. A woman later died after coming in contact with the nerve agent.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Novichok attack and have floated numerous conspiracy theories about who the "real" perpetrators might be.

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

After the interview aired, the British government dismissed it as "obfuscation and lies", while the MP for Salisbury said the men's account was "not credible". They also said they wanted to see the world-famous Stone Age monument Stonehenge, but decided against it due to the bad weather.


Failure to show the men on TV "would have raised suspicions these people were no longer among the living", said Valery Solovei, a political scientist at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. "This story is very destructive for the country's reputation".

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.

It is absurd to accuse Russian Federation of lying about the two men accused of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury, the Kremlin has said. "This was not a rogue operation", she said.

The men said they're partners in a business importing sports-nutrition supplements from Europe.

The British police believe the men to be officers of Russian military intelligence, GRU, who may have travelled on false passports to London from Moscow in March.

Boshirov said the two men were innocent and had not carried the Novichok nerve agent used in the attack.

British intelligence found the novichok was stored in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle, but the two suspects said that would be a ridiculous way for them to transport poison, which they denied having, as it would be "silly for decent lads" to have women's perfume. "Consider that the winter can be really rough, especially if you are from Russian Federation and you are not used to 2cm of snow". "Sadly, it's what we've come to expect", Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said. Britain charged two Russians with his murder but both remain in Russia, and one later won a seat in parliament. While they acknowledged being the pair seen in images released by Scotland Yard, the men did not provide proof of their names.

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