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Russian diplomat derides London’s response to Skripal suspects’ interview

September 13, 2018, 16:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In an interview with Russia’s RT TV channel, Petrov and Boshirov said they had visited Great Britain as tourists

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The British Foreign Office’s response to the interview that Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, whom London suspects of being involved in the Skripal poisoning, gave to the RT TV channel, points to the problems that Theresa May’s government is facing, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

"The Foreign Office says it is ‘obfuscation and lies.’ Is it the same Foreign Office that claimed earlier that Petrov and Boshirov had passports in fake names?" Zakharova said. "Boris Johnson seems to have left not a sinking ship but a leaky boat that Theresa May is steering," she added.

Skripal saga

According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such a substance.

On September 5, British Prime Minister Theresa May informed the country’s parliament about the conclusions that investigators looking into the Salisbury incident had come to, saying that two Russians, believed to be GRU agents, were suspected of conspiracy to murder the Skripals. According to May, the assassination attempt was approved at "a senior level of the Russian state." The Metropolitan Police published the suspects’ photos, saying their names were Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

In an interview with Russia’s RT TV channel released on September 13, Petrov and Boshirov said they had visited Great Britain for tourist purposes. According to them, they are businessmen not linked to the GRU and have nothing to do with the Skripal case.

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