Russians charged in poisoning say they visited United Kingdom as tourists

Russians accused by UK 'victims of coincidence'

Two Russians accused of the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom spoke out in their first interview to...

But Salisbury MP John Glen said their statements are not credible and what they have said does not match intelligence the United Kingdom has on them.

British authorities charge two Russian men with attempted murder over the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter.

When asked why they were in Salisbury, the men said: "Our friends had been suggesting for a long time we visit this wonderful town".

"Salisbury?" their interviewer asked. "We were just taking in the English gothic", Boshirov said. "It's famous for its 123 meter spire, it's famous for its clock, one of the first ever created in the world that's still working".

They also confirmed that they had travelled to Europe before.

RT's Simonyan noted during the interview that the United Kingdom authorities have accused the men of being members of Russian military intelligence.

RT aired an interview with the two men suspected by United Kingdom authorities of poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

While Moscow has been repeatedly castigated for alleged involvement in the poisoning of ex-double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the Kremlin maintains the allegations are not based on solid facts. British intelligence services say the names are likely aliases, used for a mission in which they failed to kill Skripal.

The two men appeared on Russia's state-funded RT television station.

"When your life turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go", Boshirov said. They added that they would like to receive an apology from British officials.

The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom on Thursday, even as it faces multiple ongoing investigations by media regulator Ofcom into its coverage of the attack in March. A woman in a nearby town later died after her partner brought home a discarded counterfeit perfume bottle containing the poison.

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Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief, who conducted the interview, said on Twitter that "their answers are their responsibility" and it's up to viewers to decide whether to believe the men, who were "extremely nervous and sweating".

An image from footage released by Scotland Yard police shows suspect Alexander Petrov.

"They demanded that only one camera run during the interview and refused to show their IDs", RT says of the interview carried out by Simonyan.

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

They said they were entrepreneurs but did not want to divulge details that could hurt their business which they said was linked to sports nutritional supplements.

"We spent no more than an hour in Salisbury, mainly because of the lags between trains", Mr Boshirov said. The Skripals were found collapsed on a park bench at 4:15 p.m.

CCTV footage shows Petrov and Boshirov, who traveled on Russian passports and were previously believed to have used aliases, arriving in the United Kingdom on Friday evening on an Aeroflot flight into London's Gatwick airport.

London believes that Putin personally sanctioned the attack. They were also pictured visiting the city a day earlier.

"We, of course, looked at what kind of people they are, and we know who they are, we found them", Putin told an audience at the Eastern Economic Forum in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.

"They left Salisbury and returned to Waterloo Station, arriving at approximately 4.45pm and boarded the London Underground at approximately 6.30pm to London Heathrow Airport".

The two Russians entered the United Kingdom on an Aeroflot flight on March 2, departing March 4, according to the U.K.'s counter-terrorism police chief, Neil Basu.

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