Skripal suspects claim they were tourists

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It said they were sent to Salisbury to kill former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the poison Novichok.

Two men named as suspects in the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in the United Kingdom have said they were merely tourists.

The pair, who claim that is their real names, said their friends had told them to visit "this wonderful town, Salisbury, which has a famous cathedral and 123m spire, and is famous for its clock".

Prime Minister May said last week that the men were agents from Russia's GRU military intelligence and that the Kremlin had "almost certainly" authorized the attempted murder and the use of the nerve agent Novichok on British soil.

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

Assistant Secretary of State, Manisha Singh, told a congressional hearing that Russian Federation has not yet accepted demands that it come clean about its production of the Novichok nerve agent used in the March 4 attempt to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England.

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.

PinkNews, a British news outlet that markets itself for the LGBT community, said that "i$3 t would hardly be the first time Russian propaganda outlets have weaponised sexuality for disinformation campaigns".

Speaking with RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, the two confirmed they were the men being shown in CCTV footage by British authorities.

Simonyan said the men had contacted her on her cellphone. Petrov claimed they were trying to go for a walk on the 3rd, "but we lasted for only half an hour because it was covered in snow". They also said they wanted to see the world-famous Stone Age monument Stonehenge, but decided against it due to the bad weather.

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They again were recorded in the center of town an hour later and were at the station by 1:50 p.m., two hours after arriving.

The Member of Parliament for Salisbury, John Glen, said the interview made by the suspects to RT is "not credible" and "does not match intelligence we have on the individuals", Sky News reported.

"From Heathrow Airport, they returned to Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2585, departing at 10.30pm on Sunday, 4 March".

The two men denied transporting the Novichok nerve agent.

Boshirov: "You know, let's not breach anyone's privacy". We came to RT for protection, but what we got was an interrogation.

The men said they're partners in a business importing sports-nutrition supplements from Europe.

After the interview aired, the British government dismissed it as "obfuscation and lies", while the MP for Salisbury said the men's account was "not credible". "What is our fault?"

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 lovely".

Ruslan Boshirov, left, and Alexander Petrov speak with the Kremlin-funded RT channel in Moscow.

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