Novichok poisoning accused will never speak to journalists again - RT

TASS via Getty Images

In an interview aired by Russian broadcaster RT on Thursday, the men identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov said they had nothing to do with the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.

British authorities say the GRU dispatched the agents to Salisbury to poison Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with the nerve agent Novichok.

"We arrived in Salisbury and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow", Petrov said.

Despite an extensive CCTV trail of the pair's abrupt trip to Salisbury on the day of the poisoning, Russian state propaganda outlet Russia Today carried an interview in which the men insisted they were actually just "tourists".

The two Russian men charged in Britain with poisoning a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent have denied their involvement in the attack, saying that their appearance in the English city of Salisbury was merely an "incredible, fatal coincidence".

Russian Federation has denied the two men were military intelligence agents. This week, the two men appeared on RT to assert their innocence and claimed they were visiting the small town of Salisbury not to expose Skripal to the nerve agent Novichok, but to check out a cathedral. "What is our fault?"

In the men's first interview since they were named publicly they denied carrying women's perfume, after police discovered a counterfeit bottle that contained a "significant amount" of Novichok.

"We examine the market, look if there is something new - some biologically active additives, amino acids, vitamins, microelements", the two said.

They spent New Year's Eve in Switzerland and have been to Vienna, the pair said.

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

"Sadly, it is what we have come to expect" from Russian Federation, the spokesman said.

The Downing Street official added: "More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack".

They said they only stayed an hour in Salisbury on Saturday 3 March because of the snowy weather conditions, but returned on Sunday 4 March to visit the sights.

The paper also noted they showed no evidence they had ever made it to Salisbury cathedral, which they cited as the city's main draw.

"Maybe we did (approach) Skripal's house, but we don't know where is it located".

In a translation from Russian, the pair told RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan they worked in the fitness industry.

They said they frequently travelled to Europe for a business they supposedly had related to sports nutrition.

Britain has repeatedly stated that the two men, travelling under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, are operatives with Moscow's GRU military intelligence agency.

- Great Rail Links to London if you want to visit twice in two days. She said the interview was recorded on Wednesday evening. "There is nothing unusual or criminal there, I assure you".

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