22:25 GMT +325 September 2018
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    This still taken from CCTV and issued by the Metropolitan Police in London on Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018, shows Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov at Salisbury train station on March 4, 2018

    London Has Concocted the Skripal Case From Start to Finish - Political Analyst

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    Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, suspected by London of the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, were interviewed by the editor-in-chief of Sputnik and RT; they revealed who they are and how they happened to be in Salisbury.

    Last week, the UK authorities said they had identified Russian nationals Petrov and Boshriov as the suspects in the Salisbury case. Moreover, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian military intelligence of orchestrating the poisoning under the order of the central authorities. In an interview with Margarita Simonyan, the two men said that they are not military intelligence agents, but middle-level entrepreneurs. They also confirmed they visited Salisbury but as tourists, adding that they had arrived in the UK city of Salisbury on March 3 and spent no more than an hour there.

    READ MORE: Skripal Poisoning "Suspects" Deny They’re Military Intelligence Agents, Say They Visited London as Tourists

    Commenting on the issue in a written interview with Sputnik, Gilbert Doctorow, an independent political analyst based in Brussels, said that the objective of the Skripal case is obvious.

    "I believe it was manufactured by the MI6 with US encouragement and assistance, to discredit the Russian Federation from the start, to present it as a user of chemical weapons and place it on a par with Bashar Assad's Syria as a pariah state," Gilbert Doctorow said.

    The analyst further noted that each episode in the Skripal saga has occurred at a critical moment for Russia. "The poisoning itself just weeks before the March presidential elections, further revelations became known just before the opening of the World Cup, and now the release of 4 month old CCTV pictures just prior to the Russian backed Syrian offensive to crush jihadists in Idlib province," Doctorow said.

    READ MORE: 'They're Shocked': Skripal's Niece Speaks Out About Salisbury Poisoning Suspects

    According to the analyst, all stages managed to do maximum damage to Russia's image in the international community and the testimony of the two suspects amounts to a direct refutation of the entire case and "facts" or "evidence" presented by London to support their story on the poisoning. Doctorow said that there are only two conclusions possible:  

    "A) that London has concocted the Skripal case from start to finish; British intelligence staged the poisoning and after much effort combing the CCTV footage for Russians who arrived in the UK and who traveled to Salisbury just before the poisoning, they produced the falsified photos of the suspects released last week. Falsified in the sense that the [so-called] Novichok supposedly found in their hotel room was planted after the fact by MI6, and that the CCTV records have been tampered with to suit the timelines over two days in a scenario devised by MI6. The whole case should be properly investigated by neutral third parties."

    "Or B) that the Russians are lying from start to finish and these two suspects should be properly interrogated by neutral third parties. I personally believe in the "A" case," he continued.

    "However, whatever one's persuasions may be, it is clear that the British and Russian accounts are in direct contradiction, so we are headed for a continued and still more dramatic political confrontation between the two countries and their allies," Doctorow concluded.

    Salisbury Incident

    The Skripals were poisoned with what London claimed was the A234 nerve agent on March 4. The UK authorities accused Russia of organizing the attack, but Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in it.

    The UK's Porton Down laboratory has said it was unable to confirm that the substance used in the Salisbury attack was produced in Russia.

    Last week, the UK authorities said they had identified Russian nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshriov as the suspects in the Salisbury case. Moreover, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian military intelligence of orchestrating the poisoning at the behest of the central authorities.

    Russian authorities, in turn, said that the photos and names of the suspects released by London did not prove Moscow's involvement in the attack.

    Moscow has insisted that the investigation into the Salisbury attack required a thorough analysis of data and close cooperation between Russia and the United Kingdom.

    Related:

    UK Reveals Suspects to Not Let Skripal Case Languish in Archives – IR Scholar
    Alleged Suspects in Skripal Case Traveled to Geneva Before Poisoning - Reports
    Skripal Worked With Spanish Intelligence in Recent Years – Reports
    Tags:
    poisoning, incident, investigation, interview, Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Ruslan Boshirov, Alexander Petrov, Margarita Simonyan, Russia, United Kingdom
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