Vladimir Putin says Russian Federation finds Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects

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Mr Putin said Moscow had identified the suspects and found that they were civilians.

Asked about Putin's remarks, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said Britain's attempts to get an explanation from Russian Federation over the poisoning of the Skripals had always been met with obfuscation and lies and that had not changed. This would be best for everyone.

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

British Prime Minister Theresa May squarely blamed Russia's military intelligence service on September 5 for carrying out the attack, adding that the upper echelons of the Russian state could also have been involved. There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you.

The attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, southern England, also claimed two other victims: Dawn Sturgess, who died from the poisoning, and Charlie Rowley, who recovered.

In a statement that deepened the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the Prime Minister said: 'The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command.

They are accused of trying to kill former Russian spy Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Novichok nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury on March 4, in an attack London believes was sanctioned by the Kremlin.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey also fell ill after responding to the incident in the city of Salisbury.

Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov
Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov at Salisbury train station

Citing the GRU's reputation for strict discipline and hierarchy, May said of the attack on the Skripals, "It was nearly certainly also approved outside the GRU, at a senior level of the Russian state".

Petrov and Boshirov flew into Gatwick Airport on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow on March 2nd.

If they do so, it would not be the first time accused Russian assassins have answered global allegations through the Russian media.

The British government also released detailed surveillance footage tracking the pair's apparent movements and an image of the perfume bottle purportedly used to administer the nerve agent on the Skripals' front door.

He added that the two men were civilians, according the state-run Ria Novosti news agency and Russian Embassy in London.

They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged.

But a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained in case they travel to the EU.

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