U.K. Charges Two Men in Sergei Skripal Poisoning


The suspects - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - were charged with the March 4 poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, Britain.

"We have full confidence in the British assessment that the two suspects were officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU, and that this operation was nearly certainly approved at a senior government level". Moscow said it had no idea who the men were.

The countries urged Moscow to "provide full disclosure" of the Novichok program to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW.

Russian Federation has denied involvement in the attack, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying: "The names published by the media, like the photographs, don't mean anything to us".

Neil Basu, the head of Brtain's counter-terrorism police, said the attack was a "remarkably sophisticated" assassination attempt.

Within a week, Ms Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, was dead.

A European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the United Kingdom authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol. It was not their first trip to Britain. Police needed the public's help worldwide in identifying the men and their earlier movements.

He highlighted a number of so-called "inconsistencies", which he said were "off the charts", in the UK's evidence. The prime minister herself has suggested that we may push for additional sanctions for the European Union.

The Novichok itself was transported in a counterfeit bottle of Nina Ricci perfume, and then sprayed onto the door of Sergei Skripal's house.

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It says: "We welcome the progress made in the investigation into the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, and take note of the attempted murder charges brought yesterday against two suspects".

The Russian men also face charges of the use and possession of the deadly Soviet-concocted nerve agent Novichok, and causing "grievous bodily harm with intent" to both Yulia Skripal and Bailey.

"We will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals", CPS Director of Legal Services Sue Hemming said in the statement.

Basu would not comment on whether the Skripals had faced threats before the attack or where they were now located.

There were no charges announced in relation to the poisoning of the couple who found the bottle of Novichok in a park in the nearby town of Amesbury weeks after the attack on the Skripals, but the police said they have "no doubt these two incidents are connected and now form one investigation", suggesting charges could come in the future. Her partner, Charlie Rowley, was also stricken but survived.

Besides an airport security check, every passenger traveling overseas must pass through customs control, which includes checking passengers' travel documents, interviewing them and searching both their belongings and person.

The case has been likened by British politicians to the murder of Russian dissident and former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in a London hotel in 2006.

For example, on Thursday, Britain will put the issue in front of the United Nations Security Council, a decision-making body where Russian Federation regularly uses its veto when its interests are threatened.

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