Putin: Novichok suspects are not criminals

Putin: Novichok suspects are not criminals

Putin: Novichok suspects are not criminals

Putin urged the men to address the media and said there was "nothing criminal" about them, as he spoke at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

The statement by Putin marked an abrupt shift from Russia's earlier position on the poisoning case that has damaged relations between Moscow and the West.

Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol. We'll see soon." "They are civilians of course.

"I knew from day one that this story about the involvement of Petrov and Boshirov was fake", she said.

Britain last week named two men as key suspects in the nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Putin said Russian Federation had identified the pair - named by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - and found no evidence of criminal activities. There is nothing particular there, nothing criminal, I hiss you.

Scotland Yard and the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have said there was enough evidence to charge the men, who were understood to have travelled to London from Moscow on March 2 on Russian passports.

"We of course checked who these people are".

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the men will be caught and prosecuted if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

The motive for attacking Skripal, who was exchanged in a Kremlin-approved spy swap in 2010, is still unclear, as is the motive for using an exotic nerve agent, Novichok, which has such clear links to Russia´s Soviet past.

Detectives believe the front door of Mr Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with Novichok. The Skripals were hospitalized for months but recovered.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July, just over a week after the pair fell ill.

Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 said the suspect named as Alexander Petrov would maybe speak next week.

Britain and dozens of other countries kicked out scores of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the Skripals, and Moscow responded tit-for-tat with an identical number of expulsions.

In response, Russia accused the British authorities of Russophobia, misleading the global community and United Kingdom citizens and of "disgusting anti-Russian hysteria".

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