Putin says Russian Federation has identified Salisbury attack suspects


President Putin says the two men suspected of poisoning Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury have been identified by the Russian state.

Putin, speaking at an economic forum in the Russian Pacific port city of Vladivostok, said Russia had located the two men, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them.

"We know who they are, we have found them", Putin said. "It will be better for everyone".

Estimates have it that Britain sports one security camera per 11 citizens, making it one of the most heavily surveilled nations on the planet.

The British government has said Putin is ultimately responsible for the attack, a claim the Kremlin has furiously denied. "The government has exposed the role of the GRU, its operatives and its methods, this position is supported by our global allies", the spokesman told reporters.

Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, while addressing a Parliament session, held Russian Federation accountable for the Salisbury attack and said that only Russian Federation had the motive to carry out the attack as well as the technical means and operational experience.

"I hope that they will emerge (in public) themselves and tell about themselves".

The CPS has not applied to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men, as Russian Federation does not extradite its own nationals.

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Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russian Federation for the extradition of the two men but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol.

A police officer who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, Nick Bailey, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance.

According to British officials who have been combing CCTV footage in subsequent months, the two Russian nationals were seen arriving at London Gatwick Airport on March 2 before being spotted in Salisbury on March 3 and 4.

The statement by Putin marked an abrupt shift from Russia's earlier position on the poisoning case that has damaged relations between Moscow and the West.

The Skripals spent weeks in the hospital.

Detectives believe the front door of Mr Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with Novichok. Sturgess's boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, also fell ill.

Britain's allies have backed it over the case, with the United States and other European countries expelling hundreds of Russian diplomats suspected of being spies.