Russian Suspects In Skripal Case Say They Visited Salisbury To See Cathedral

"When your life turned upside down, you don't know what to do and where to go", Boshirov said.

Chris Phillips, the former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office said: "We trust those countries to do things the right way".

The men, who United Kingdom authorities named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, said they were in Salisbury in March to see the famous Salisbury Cathedral. Putin, speaking at an economic forum in Russia's Far East, described Petrov and Boshirov as regular citizens and definitely not "criminals".

A spokesman for Theresa May condemned the lies and "blatant fabrications" in the interview, adding...

That was when a former Russian double agent and his daughter were stricken by a military-grade nerve agent, Novichok, that almost killed them. They departed hours after the Skripals were found slumped over on a bench.

On September 5, Britain formally charged Petrov and Boshirov over Skripal's poisoning, and that of his daughter Yulia, in March of this year.

Two Russian men accused by Britain of poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in England said on Thursday they had been the victims of a "fantastical coincidence" and were simply Russian businessmen on holiday overseas.

The pair said that they had never dealt with the media before and if Putin had not urged them to speak out they would have recorded a video statement.

Just a day after President Vladimir Putin urged them to come forward, the two Russians the United Kingdom accuses of carrying out a nerve-agent attack on a former spy denied the charges in an interview with RT state television.

In the interview with RT, Boshirov denied those claims, saying they had traveled that day to see Stonehenge, but "couldn't do it" because "the town was covered by this slush".

"Maybe we did [approach] Skripal's house", Boshirov added, "but we don't know where is it located".

Surveillance camera footage of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the two suspects in the Skripal attack, at Salisbury train station the day before Skripal collapsed.

When asked about the nerve agent Novichok, they emphatically denied carrying it, or the modified Nina Ricci perfume bottle, which United Kingdom investigators say contained the substance.

"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume?", RT quoted Boshirov as saying in remarks translated into English. "They would have questions as to why men have women's perfume in their luggage". "The interview with Petrov and Boshirov had already been set, otherwise [Putin] wouldn't have spoken about them", political strategist Gleb Pavlovsky told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

The pair were interviewed by Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief. The pair were released from the hospital two months later and moved to a private, secure location.

"At 3pm on Friday, 2 March, the suspects arrived at Gatwick airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588".

Moscow has refused to extradite the two men Britain suspects of killing Litvinenko, and one of them, Andrei Lugovoi, went on to become a Russian lawmaker.

Later in the interview, the pair of men denied allegations they work for the GRU, Russia's military intelligence service, instead claiming they work in the "fitness industry".

They denied trying to kill Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury on March 4, in an attack London believes was sanctioned by the Kremlin.