Russians Accused in UK Poisoning: 'Coincidence' They Were in Salisbury

RT    
     NOVICHOK DENIAL Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov claimed they're'not Russian agents

Two Russians have appeared on state television, saying they had been wrongly accused by Britain of trying to murder a former Russian spy and his daughter in England and they had visited Salisbury in March for tourism. Boshirov said. "The customs are checking everything, they would have questions as to why men have women's perfume in their luggage".

"Our friends recommended a long time ago that we visit that wonderful city", the man identifying himself as Petrov told RT.

"Salisbury?" their interviewer asked.

The TV interview came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia had identified the pair and found no evidence of criminal activities.

When questioned whether the two men would return to the United Kingdom to "clear their names", Ms Simonyan retorted sharply.

And British journalists have been mocking the story on Twitter, highlighting the improbability of the pair's itinerary and route if they were truly tourists.

Britain last week charged two Russians in absentia, alleging they were agents of Russia's military intelligence agency who were dispatched to Salisbury to poison former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the nerve agent Novichok on March 4.

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The Russian government has denied involvement in the poisoning.

Last week, Britain announced charges against the two men. She said they were the "real" Petrov and Boshirov as far as she was able to check.

"We're afraid to go out, we fear for ourselves, our lives and lives of our loved ones", said Mr Boshirov. They added that they would like to receive an apology from British officials.

Her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, also fell ill, while police officer Nick Bailey, who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance.

British investigators say the poison was transported in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle and sprayed onto the handle of Skripal's door.

Petrov and Boshirov made their first public appearance in an interview with the Kremlin-funded RT channel. The Associated Press reports they were also shown visiting Salisbury a day earlier.

The Moscow-based editor-in-chief of RT, Margarita Simonyan, said that the two men had contacted her by phone and she spent an evening with them before the clips of the interview were aired on Thursday.

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But yesterday the pair sensationally claimed in a farcical TV interview that they were simply in Britain on holiday, and travelled to Salisbury to look at the cathedral and Stonehenge.

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.

Police released dozens of CCTV images tracking the pair's movements from London to the Wiltshire city.

They had been for lunch at a restaurant in central Salisbury on 4 March when they were found "in an extremely serious condition" on a bench outside the restaurant.

"They then travelled on London public transport to Waterloo station and were in the area between approximately 6pm and 7pm".

Tests on the east London hotel room where the suspects had stayed showed contamination of Novichok.

"They are believed to have taken a similar route when they returned to London on the afternoon of Saturday, 3 March".

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