The two Russian men charged in Britain with poisoning a former Russian spy with a deadly nerve agent appeared on Russian television on Thursday, saying they visited the suspected crime scene as tourists. He said that they "maybe approached Skripal's house" while in Salisbury, but only unintentionally, as they "didn't know where it was located".
"Our friends had been suggesting for quite a long time that we visit this wonderful city", Petrov said in the interview.
THE prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack have claimed they visited the United Kingdom as tourists.
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".
"Well, we came there [to the UK] on 2 March, then went to a railway station to see the timetable".
He added he was delighted that the Russians were able to see "the world class attractions Salisbury has to offer". Investigators say the names they used were likely aliases.
Britain said it was clear the two men, who appeared on Russia's state-funded RT television, were agents of Russia's GRU military intelligence who carried out the attack, and their interview an example of Russia's "obfuscation and lies".
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.
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Britain identified the Russian suspects last week and released security-camera photos of them in Salisbury on March 3 and 4. The station said it would air more of the interview later.
The interviewer, RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, at times seemed more interested in insinuations about the men's personal relationship than their alleged military status. You'll have to ask the English why show us with the same timestamp. "But very odd to come all this way for just two days while carrying Novichok in their luggage", tweeted John Glen, the Member of Parliament for Salisbury who is also a government minister.
In the 25-minute video, the pair said they now fear for their lives, and hinted that British secret services want to bring them harm.
Replying to the interviewer's question why the pair went to Salisbury for two days in a row, Boshirov said that when they first got to the town it was snowy and they got wet "up to the knee" so they made a decision to take the train back the following day.
Boshirov also called on the United Kingdom to apologize for the allegations, claiming their lives had been "turned upside down". "Any sensible person would be afraid", said Boshirov.
"We pick up the most necessary, come here and decide how to deliver the new products from this market here".
On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin called for the two men to speak with the media during an economic conference in Vladivostok. The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the weapons-grade nerve agent.
The pair said they had travelled to Europe quite a lot for holidays and for business.