Russian wanted over novichok poisoning 'to break silence'

Clay Curtis
September 14, 2018

Hours before, Vladimir Putin said Russia has found the pair accused of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with novichok in Salisbury in March.

"I call on them to appear before the media and tell their story", Putin said, according to Russia's embassy in the U.K. His remarks Wednesday came from Vladivostok, where Putin is holding an economic summit with other leaders.

United Kingdom authorities believe Ruslan Boshirov and Petrov poisoned the former 67-year-old double agent and his daughter with the lethal nerve agent Novichok on March 4 this year.

Russian Federation has hotly contested the allegations that it is responsible for the attack, and on Wednesday Mr Putin escalated the war of words by denying the men were members of military intelligence, and that his officials "know who these people are".

'I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything. This would be best for everyone. "There is nothing special and nothing criminal about it, I'm telling you". "We'll see soon enough", he said.

He accused Britain of attempting "to unleash a disgusting anti-Russian hysteria".

British police believe the nerve agent was smuggled to Britain in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle and put on the front door of Sergei Skripal's house. They spent weeks hospitalized in critical condition and are now recovering in a secret location for their own protection.

The same exotic poison was also blamed for the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, who seems to have come into contact with Novichok in July.

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An Interpol Red Notice and European arrest warrant have been issued, though the Russian Constitution forbids them from being extradited.

The Skripals' poisoning by the deadly nerve agent Novichok triggered a tense diplomatic showdown.

The two suspects named by the United Kingdom as being behind the Novichok poisonings have been found in Russian Federation.

He said the government had exposed them as GRU operatives - and that is what they are.

Moscow has vehemently denied it is responsible for the poisoning.

The case, with its chilling details, echoes the 2006 murder of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian agent who died after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at a London hotel.

Britain's security minister, Ben Wallace, said on September 6 that Putin "ultimately" bears responsibility for the poisoning because "it is his government that controls, funds, and directs the military intelligence".

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