Russians accused by United Kingdom 'victims of coincidence'

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In this video grab provided by the RT channel, Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov attend their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May says the two men are Russian intelligence officers, claims which they and the Russian government has denied.

"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town", Petrov said of Salisbury. In a word, we are in the fitness industry - everything that concerns sports nutrition: "vitamins, microelements, proteins and weight gainers", Petrov said. We came to RT for protection, but what we got was an interrogation.

"Delighted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov were able to see the world-class attractions that #Salisbury has to offer".

Detectives believe it is likely the two Salisbury suspects, thought to be aged around 40, travelled under aliases and that Petrov and Boshirov are not their real names.

They confirmed they are the two men shown in CCTV pictures issued by the Metropolitan Police, saying they own the clothes they were pictured in and even bought their shoes in England.

Skripal, a Russian military intelligence officer turned double agent for Britain, and his visiting daughter fell ill March 4 from what Britain says was a Soviet-developed nerve agent; an investigating police officer also was hospitalized for about three weeks.

A handout picture taken at Salisbury train station in Salisbury, west of London on March 3, 2018, and released by the British Metropolitan Police Service in London on September 5, 2018, shows Alexander Petrov (R) and Ruslan Boshirov.

Britain accused Russian Federation of responding with "obfuscation and lies" after the RT interview was aired this morning.

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The two accused men spoke on camera for almost 30 minutes, rarely smiling as they discussed their actions with RT's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

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

Boshirov did not react to the interviewer's request to show the pictures they took on that trip, only saying that he found Salisbury Cathedral "very attractive".

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

Ofcom said in April that since the Salisbury attack they had observed "a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code".

Petrov said he and Boshirov had flown to London for a short leisure break, with Salisbury always intended as a day trip.

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

"We spent no more than an hour in Salisbury, mainly because of the lags between trains". But Vladimir Putin has denied that these men had anything to do with the poisoning and that they're in any way attached to the Kremlin.

The nerve agent used to poison the Skripals was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of their house, according to Metropolitan Police. As for visits to Switzerland, they traveled to that country mostly for leisure.

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