Russian suspects in poisoning: We were in UK as tourists

A police officer outside the Prezzo restaurant in Salisbury where a couple had become unwell after exposure to an unknown substance

Image Police are still investigating why two people fell ill at this Salisbury restaurant

Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russian state-sponsored network RT, said the duo - who identified themselves as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the men suspected by British intelligence of carrying out the poisoning - want "this story to be over".

On September 5, Britain said it was charging two Russian men over the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripalin Salisbury, England, earlier this year.

Asked about the interview, a British government spokeswoman said: "The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country".

"We have repeatedly asked Russian Federation to account for what happened in Salisbury in March", Britain said.

"When you pass through customs they check all your things, or just any police officer can look through them, I think if we would have had something, they would have had questions".

Petrov and Boshirov claimed that they were in Salisbury on March 4, the day when the Skripals were poisoned.

The pair were caught on camera at Salisbury rail station on March 4, and minutes later another camera spotted them walking in the direction of Skripal's house - the opposite direction from the cathedral. They had stayed less than hour in Salisbury, they said, because of bad weather. "What is our fault?"

"Friends have been telling us for a long time we should visit this handsome city", said the broad-shouldered Petrov.

Asked whether the interview reinforced the view that RT is a Kremlin propaganda outlet, Simonyan said her questions to the suspects were "hard" and had made them "nervous".

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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.

He said: 'I could smell weed from their room, it was by the door and in the corridor, it was unmistakable.

He added he was delighted that the Russians were able to see "the world class attractions Salisbury has to offer". He laughed off as "silly" the idea that they would have carried a women's perfume bottle.

She acknowledged the two men appear to be the individuals in the video released by the British police.

"A tourist town", Boshirov said.

The U.S., France, Canada and Germany said they had "full confidence" in the U.K.'s assessment that the two suspects were Russian agents and that the operation "was with the greatest probability approved at high levels of the government".

The men say that their lives have been "turned upside down" by the allegations and want an apology. Definitely. I heard them having really loud sex for a long time.

Craig Murray, a former official who has faced criticism for pushing debunked conspiracy theories related to the poisoning, claimed on Twitter after the interview that the "most likely interpretation is that they are a gay couple..."

"And then, of course, it is forgotten that we were told they are already dead", Clark said. United Kingdom authorities blamed two former Russian agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, for the murder.

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