Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the Sputnik and RT broadcaster confirmed that she had interviewed Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov suspected by London of involvement in the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
"Yes, I have interviewed them, it will be aired soon," Simonyan said.
She also confirmed that Petrov and Boshirov answered all her questions concerning their involvement in the Skripals' poisoning.
"They have answered all questions. All questions that you and I, as journalists, would think of in the first place, they all have been asked and all answers have been given," she noted.
In addition, both "suspects" showed her their internal Russian passports, noting that they did not have passports for international travel.
"They showed me their [internal] Russian passports, they did not have those ones [passports used for international travel]. Visually they resemble the released photos, I have no doubt that these are the same people, because passports, photos and videos, those materials that the UK side has provided unambiguously show that these are these people," she said.
Simonyan revealed that the editorial team found the "suspects" using social media and other sources.
"I did not look for them. More precisely, our editorial staff searched for them in the same way that all other professional media did: on social networks, through sources, etc. We even found a couple [of people with the same name], but the ones [we were looking for]. As a result, real (as far as it can be verified) Petrov and Boshirov personally called me on my mobile phone. I must say that everyone knows my cell phone number, even the couriers who deliver me flowers on March 8 [Women's Day]," Simonyan wrote on the Telegram messenger service.
The journalist also stressed that Petrov and Boshirov refused to be interviewed by anyone else, even by her staff journalists, as the "suspects" said when interviewed that they trusted Sputnik's editor-in-chief, as they had seen her broadcasts and read her social media.
In addition, she said that the interview was conducted in Russian and is now being translated into English and other languages.
The interview follows Alexander Shulgin's statement on Wednesday that it would be very "useful" if the two individuals suspected by London of being behind the Salisbury attack met the press; Shulgin is the Russian envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has not communicated with the Salisbury incident "suspects." He further noted that the Russian authorities had not taken any action against the two individuals.
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.
Russian side has insisted that the investigation into the Salisbury attack required a thorough analysis of data and close cooperation between Russia and the United Kingdom.
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.