Putin says suspects in Novichok poisoning are 'civilians'

Police stand guard outiside the City Stay hotel in Bow east London Britain 05 September

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, the BBC reports.

"We know who these people are, we have found them", Putin told a panel of an economic conference in Russia's Far East of the suspects.

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 know who they are, ' he told reporters.

Putin goes on to claim that his government has "found them" and he sincerely hopes that they'll come forward and tell their side of the story soon. This would be best for everyone. "There's nothing unusual or criminal there, I assure you. We are going to look in the come future", he added. After being discharged from Salisbury District Hospital, the two have remained isolated in a secret place, the Russian diplomat noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as delivers a speech Wednesday during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.

CCTV footage from early March shows the pair arriving at Heathrow Airport from Russian Federation, and also in the vicinity of Sergei Skripal's house on the day of the attack.

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Putin also said at the time that if the poison used were really a chemical warfare agent, death would have been instantaneous.

Police believe the nerve agent was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed on the front door of Sergei Skripal's house.

In the months following the attack, Britain and other countries pointed the finger of blame at Russian Federation but the nation has denied any involvement. Two others also fell ill: Sturgess's boyfriend, Charlie Rowley; and police officer Nick Bailey.

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service said it is not applying to Russian Federation for the two men's extradition, because Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals, according to the BBC. "These are civilians", Putin said in remarks reported by Russian news agencies.

Britain blames Russian Federation for the poisonings but Moscow denies any involvement.

Together with Boshirov, Petrov is accused of being an agent of the GRU (Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye) agency, which is the main military foreign intelligence service of Russian Federation.

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