RT airs interview with Russians accused in United Kingdom poisoning

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The pair were interviewed by Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief.

The men's surprise public appearance Thursday came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian authorities know the identities of the two men, but insisted that they are civilians and there is "nothing criminal" about them.

Two Russians with the same name as suspects in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent have told Russia's state-funded RT television station they visited Britain's Salisbury in March as tourists.

A still image taken from a video footage and released by RT worldwide news channel on September 13, 2018, shows two Russian men with the same names, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as those accused by Britain over the case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, during an interview at an unidentified location, Russia.

They told state-controlled outlet RT News that they were in Salisbury, where Skripal and his daughter were poisoned, because their friends had recommended its "famous cathedral".

Statements by the two Russians "are not credible", the British lawmaker who represents the city in parliament said on Thursday.

Confirming the timeline produced by police, they admitted they went to Salisbury on two days, to take in the sights of its famous cathedral and ancient clock.

The two men confirmed that they were the men pictured travelling to and from Salisbury in images published by Britain's Metropolitan Police. They visited Salisbury twice by train on day trips - on the Saturday for reconnaissance and on the Sunday to poison Skripal.

"Well, we came there on March 2, then went to a railway station to see the timetable".

"The town was covered by this slush".

They said they "got wet, took the nearest train and came back" to London.

The two suspects are GRU officers, the spokesman reiterated, adding, "The government has exposed the role of the GRU, its operatives, and its methods, this position is supported by our global allies".

The two men said they did not work for GRU, were ordinary businessmen, and the victim of what they called "a fantastical coincidence".

"The Petrov/Borishov statements are not credible and don't match the widely accepted intelligence we have on these individuals", he said.

"The Police and Crown Prosecution Service have identified these men as the prime suspects in relation to the attack in Salisbury".

Britain said the two suspects were Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers nearly certainly acting on orders from high up in the Russian state.

"We arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and tried to walk through the town, but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow", Petrov said.

"Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies".

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who were formally accused of attempting to murder former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, are seen in this image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London.

He tweeted that he was "delighted" the men were able to visit Salisbury's "world-class attractions", but said it was "very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage".

Russian Federation has consistently denied ordering the attack, or having any knowledge of it.

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