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Kremlin has no information about alleged suspects in Skripal case, spokesman says

According to Dmitry Peskov, the matter is under the purview of the relevant agencies
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, September 10. /TASS/. The Kremlin has no information about the two men Great Britain suspects of poisoning former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"We don’t have such information," he said. According to Peskov, the matter is under the purview of the relevant agencies. "If there is some information on this, then the relevant agencies must have it," he pointed out.

The Kremlin spokesman added that "if Great Britain cooperated [with Russia] in accordance with the legal assistance agreement, it would facilitate the investigation into the Skripal case." "But unfortunately, Great Britain is reluctant to cooperate," he said.

Skripal saga

According to London, 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.

Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead said later that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used in the attack on the Skripals.

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.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that those names meant nothing to Russia.