'Fantastical coincidence': Skripal suspects in the United Kingdom were 'tourists'

Former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi turned his newfound fame into a political career

Former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi turned his newfound fame into a political career

Russia's state-funded RT television station will air an interview on Thursday with two Russians who have the same names as the men accused by Britain of trying to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter, RT's head said.

"They are civilians, of course", Putin said on September 12, contradicting the British government's assertion that they were officers of Russia's military intelligence agency, known as the GRU.

"Before this nightmare started, I had never heard that surname".

When asked by RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan whether they also had a counterfeit bottle of designer perfume United Kingdom police said contained the nerve agent, Borishov said: "Isn't it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?"

The two men said they did not work for GRU, were ordinary businessmen, and were the victims of what they called "a fantastical coincidence".

Simonyan asked the men during the exchange whether they are GRU officers.

"Our friends have been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", Petrov said while Boshirov added that they wanted to see the Cathedral's famous spire and clock.

A British government minister, who represents Salisbury, said on Twitter that the statements were not credible. We arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow.


On March 4, former Russian intelligence officer and convicted British spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent, according to British investigators.

Calling the poisoning a "sickening and despicable" attack, Javid said it was "unequivocally, crystal-clear this was the act of the Russian state - two Russian nationals sent to Britain with the sole goal of carrying out a reckless assassination attempt".

"Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies".

"The duo surfaced a day after President Putin said Russian Federation had located Petrov and Boshirov, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them".

Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 said Mr Petrov would give an interview to them next week, but just a day later both suspects have spoken to RT.

The journey was part of their holiday, they said, though they had also been in Europe to do business related to sports nutrition.

They spent New Year's Eve in Switzerland and have been to Vienna, the pair said. "We didn't have it", Mr Boshirov said.

"We pick up the most necessary, come here and decide how to deliver the new products from this market here". We went through the corridor together, we always [do it] together. "It's better to ask them [UK police]".

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