Vladimir Putin - Nothing criminal about suspects in Novichok nerve agent attack

Putin says Russia has found men accused by UK over poisoning

They came up with pretty much everything except a film of them planting the poison or a signed confession, but the Russians clearly have no plans to extradite them or even charge them with anything judging by how Putin is describing the situation.

Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left in comas for weeks after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, while Dawn Sturgess later died and Charlie Rowley was left in a critical condition after they too came into contact with the substance in nearby Amesbury.

Scotland Yard released photos of the men last week, saying they're wanted in connection to a poisoning attack on a former KGB agent.

British prosecutors last week identified two Russians, whom they said were operating under aliases - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - and whom they accused of being the so-called "novichock two".

The Russian president also made the freaky move of asking Petrov and Boshirov to appear in public to dispel doubt about their true identity.

Alexander Petrov (left) and Ruslan Boshirov are charged with using novichok to poison an ex-spy and his daughter.

"We know who they are, we have found them", Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says there is "nothing criminal" about the men named by United Kingdom authorities over the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

"Of course we have checked out who these people are", Mr. Putin said at a forum in Vladivostok in response to a question from a reporter.

"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell about themselves", he said in comments that hinted they will make a public statement shortly.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says two men identified by British police are private citizens, not government agents.

"We know who they are, we have found them".

He added, "There is nothing special or criminal about it, I can assure you".

London and its allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats after the poisoning, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow and plunging relations to a new low. Rowley also fell ill but survived because of his lesser exposure.

Mr Skripal is a former GRU agent who secretly spied for Britain before being pardoned by the Kremlin and exchanged with among others - glamour agent Anna Chapman.

They said they would not formally demand the men's extradition, as Russian Federation does not extradite its citizens, but have obtained a European Arrest Warrant for the pair.



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