Putin: Russia has found novichok suspects but they are 'not criminal'

Vladimir Putin says Russia finds Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects

Russia identifies 2 suspects in Skripal poisoning case – Putin

British authorities said the two men, who they identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, had been operating under aliases.

Two days later, they sprayed nerve agent Novichok on the front door of Skripal's home in the Wiltshire city of Salisbury, before travelling home to Russian Federation later that day, the police said. "We found them", Putin told an an economic forum in Vladivostok.

'I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything. This would be best for everyone.

"There's nothing special and criminal about it, I assure you".

"When one country's prime minister accuses the leaders of another country of preparing a terrorist attack, from this point we can not proceed anywhere", he added.

Putin's remarks appeared to be a denial that the men worked for Russia's military intelligence service, the Main Directorate, commonly called the GRU.

They were described as being about 40 years old and believed to be travelling under fake names.

Beyond identifying them as Russian nationals, the prosecutors gave no indication as to who the men are.

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"If we do actually see these two men in front of TV cameras or sitting down with journalists, being quizzed on what this was all about, it would be interesting to see what their explanation is".

Police didn't test the budget City Stay Hotel for Novichok until two months after the attack, but Basu said the tiny quantity of nerve agent found there did not pose a risk to other guests.

Yesterday the Russian president said the men had been tracked down.

Russian state media has reported that a man named Alexander Petrov worked for a pharmaceuticals company in the Siberian city of Tomsk and has denied any involvement in the case.

State TV channel Rossiya-24 claimed it had spoken to Alexander Petrov, who, along with Ruslan Boshirov, has been named by United Kingdom prosecutors as a prime suspect in the nerve agent attack. Saying the pair are private citizens, not Russian agents, Putin urged them to speak out.

Russia's GRU military intelligence service, which has agents across the globe and reports to the chief of general staff and the defence minister, does not have a website and does not comment publicly on its actions.

Russian Federation retaliated by kicking out a similar number of those countries' envoys.

Sturgess died as a result of the Novichok poisoning in July.

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