Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Peggy Hughes

United Kingdom poisoning suspects: 'We were tourists'

United Kingdom poisoning suspects: 'We were tourists'

The men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told RT that they made the trek from Moscow for a three day visit to the British town of Salisbury last March for the objective of sightseeing - and not, as the United Kingdom government alleges, to poison Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan conducted the interview with the men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Russlan Boshirov.

When asked why they were in Salisbury, the men said: "Our friends had been suggesting for a long time we visit this wonderful town".

Boshirov said. He went on to claim that if they had such an item in their luggage, it would have been hard to get past airport customs agents without arousing suspicion.

Claiming to be interested in the history of the local area, they praised Salisbury Cathedral for its "123-metre spire and its clock, one of the first ever created in the world that's still working".

British officials say Boshirov and Petrov are military intelligence agents who were dispatched to Salisbury to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the nerve agent Novichok.

British police have released CCTV footage and photographs showing the two men walking in Skripal's neighbourhood on March 4, the day of the attack. "We got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London, they told RT, Russia's state-run worldwide broadcaster.

He said that they "maybe approached Skripal's house" while in Salisbury, but only unintentionally, as they "didn't know where it was located".

Then, days later, President Vladimir Putin vouched for them as just ordinary guys and anything but would-be hit men.

The men denied they work for Russian military intelligence and described themselves as businessmen.

The accusation that they are part of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, was "the scariest thing" about the incident, Petrov said, according to the translation by RT.

British security services had named the men as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, but believed they were aliases.

Boshirov did not react to the interviewer's request to show the pictures they took on that trip, only saying that he found Salisbury Cathedral "very handsome".

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement. She said they were the "real" Petrov and Boshirov as far as she was able to check.

The prime suspects also denied taking Novichok or a bottle of Nina Ricci perfume with them to the UK.

In an address to the Easter Economic Forum in Vladivostok, he said: 'Of course, we looked who these people are. "Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies", the Foreign Office said in a statement.

"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?" They denied the allegation and Russian Federation refused to extradite them.

They also confirmed that they had travelled to Europe before.

Concerning an article in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph saying that during period of September 2016 - March 2018 the suspects made almost 30 trips to Europe, frequently to Geneva, both said they were studying the European market of bio-supplements and vitamins.

The two added that they had planned to visit London on their trip, but a snowstorm hindered their plans.

The men, who appeared to be about 40, claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived.

Like this: