Putin: Skripal poisoning suspects 'civilians, not criminals'

British prosecutors charged two Russian nationals, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, last week for allegedly poisoning former spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade nerve agent in the city of Salisbury in March.

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.

"Of course we have checked out who these people are", Mr. Putin said at a forum in Vladivostok in response to a question from a reporter.

NAN reports that on September 6, the United Kingdom charged two Russian men for the Novichok nerve agent attack on the former spy and his daughter in the English city of Salsibury, accusing them of being Russian military intelligence officers.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said on September 9 that Britain will catch the two men and bring them to prosecution if they ever step out of Russian Federation.

"I would like to call on them so that they can hear us today", he said Wednesday.

"There's nothing particularly even criminal about it, I assure you. We'll see in the near future".

They were described as being about 40 years old and believed to be travelling under fake names.

The UK government named them as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and said they were from Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

Moscow has vehemently denied it is responsible for the poisoning.

Mum-of-three Sturgess was the one fatality of the incident which plunged relations between Britain and Russian Federation to lows not seen since the Cold War.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has previously rejected May's accusations, noting both the unacceptable tone of her statement and the necessity for a thorough and unbiased investigation which has been so far made impossible by London's unwillingness to cooperate with Moscow.

Scotland Yard has issued a European arrest warrant for the two men, who have not been seen publicly since the March attack.

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.

But Dawn Sturgess, 44, died July 8, after authorities said she and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, 48, had also been exposed to Novichok.

Mr Rowley is seriously ill and was readmitted to hospital earlier this month after going blind.

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