01:41 GMT +320 September 2018
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    Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who were formally accused of attempting to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, are seen on CCTV on Fisherton Road in Salisbury on March 4, 2018 in an image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London, Britain September 5, 2018

    Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Interviews Skripal Poisoning "Suspects"

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    An interview with the Skripal poisoning "suspects" conducted by Sputnik, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan will be aired in the near future.

    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.

    READ MORE: Russia's Envoy Calls UK Claims in Skripal Case 'Political Culture Degradation'

    "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.

    Simonyan stressed that she had no doubt she was talking with those people whom London suspected of being involved in the Skripal case.

    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.

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

    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.

    READ MORE: Skripal Case: What We Know So Far About the Two Russians Accused by the UK

    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.

    Last week, the UK authorities said they had identified Russian nationals Petrov and Boshriov as the suspects in the Salisbury case. In addition, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian military intelligence of orchestrating the poisoning under the order 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.

    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.

    Related:

    Skripal Case: What We Know So Far About the Two Russians Accused by the UK
    Skripal Saga Is Part of Anti-Russia Defamation Campaign – Political Commentator
    Skripal Worked With Spanish Intelligence in Recent Years – Reports
    Tags:
    nerve agent, A234 nerve agent, Poisoning of Sergei Skripal, Kremlin, Ruslan Boshirov, Alexander Petrov, Margarita Simonyan, Russia, United Kingdom
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