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Kremlin: ‘impossible’ to discuss suspects in Skripal case with mass media

The Kremlin spokesman also said he has no information on the media claims on Anatoly Chepiga, who was allegedly one of 'trained assassins' in the Skripal case and was honored Russia's highest award
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

DUSHANBE, September 28. /TASS/. The Kremlin believes it impossible to conduct a discussion with the mass media about the suspects in the Skripal poisoning case, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov highlighted that intelligence services may identify individuals, but for this they need official data.
"It is impossible and really hard for us to carry out a discussion on this account [about the suspects in the Skripal poisoning case] with the mass media. And we would not like to do it: it is just impossible. We cannot have media outlets acting as counterparts on a sensitive issue like the Skripal incident," the Kremlin spokesman told journalists.

"To be able to take part in the investigation into this incident [the Skripal poisoning], the corresponding services should have reference materials, official reference materials, and these materials may be received only from competent sources," the spokesman stressed.
Peskov also said he has no information considering media reports on an awards granted by the Russian president to a man named Anatoliy Chepiga.

"I don’t have information that a man by this name has ever received any award," Peskov stressed.

The Daily Telegraph claimed earlier that "one of the trained assassins wanted for poisoning Sergei Skripal is a decorated colonel in Russian military intelligence given the country’s highest award by Vladimir Putin." "The real identity of one of the wanted men in the nerve agent attack - named by counter-terrorism police as Ruslan Boshirov - can be disclosed as Colonel Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga," the newspaper wrote.

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 rejected all the accusations.