Russian Federation 'will consider United Kingdom request to interview Salisbury suspects'

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London's reaction to a recent interview of Russia's RT channel with two men suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is absurd, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

But last week, Britain identified two Russians it said carried out the assassination attempt and said they were officers of the GRU Russian military intelligence service.

"What were you doing there?"

"Our friends have been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", Petrov said.

The suspects, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they were simply tourists catching the sights in Salisbury.

"Only this week, we heard an official statement from London, which said that they did not plan to employ the legal assistance mechanism and send any requests to Russian Federation". The Russian President insisted they were innocent and "civilians", contradicting accusations by Scotland Yard that they were agents of Russian military intelligence, the GRU, which Mr Skripal used to be a member of.

The pair, who said their names were Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, appeared to resemble men shown in stills from security cameras released by British police investigating the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy who had passed information to the British.

"The last time Russian military claimed to be on holiday was when they invaded Ukraine in 2014", Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted. RT has been told that no matter what, the United Kingdom will not change its view on the matter.

Britain has said the attack received approval "at a senior level of the Russian state", an accusation Moscow has fiercely denied.

When RT editor Margarita Simonyan asked the pair why they travelled together, implying they might be a gay couple, the men said their private lives were off limits to the media. "I did not know anything about them before this situation, before all of this nightmare started".

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He said: "Of course, we went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we couldn't do it because there was muddy slush everywhere".

In the men's first interview since they were named publicly they denied carrying women's perfume.

The spokesman for UK Prime Minister May said earlier in particular that "The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence".

The Zizzi Restaurant in Salisbury where Skripal and his daughter ate on the day they were poisoned.

The Skripals survived being poisoned but a local man, Charlie Rowley, picked up a fake perfume bottle containing Novichok weeks later, British investigators have said.

In this file grab taken from CCTV and issued by the Metropolitan Police in London on September 5, 2018, Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov walk on Fisherton Road, Salisbury, England, March 4, 2018. From a credibility point of view, the British government must stick to that position, McCauley asserted.

And Boshirov said they were in the city for less than an hour, adding: "Maybe we did [approach] Skripal's house, but we don't know where is it located".

The pair said their lives were turned upside down after they were publicly named by United Kingdom police.

Nevertheless, web users were quick to ask why snow would stop two Russians, given their country's history of sub-zero conditions.

"Isn't it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?" one of the two men was quoted as saying by the Kremlin-funded RT.

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