Kremlin says UK is ‘absurd’ for dismissing story of two Russian tourists
Moscow — The Kremlin said on Friday that it is "absurd" for Britain to dismiss as unconvincing an interview with two suspects in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal on British soil.
The comments come a day after Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov denied any involvement in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March, telling Russian state TV they had visited as tourists to see the cathedral.
British security services have named the two men as main suspects in the case.
"Accusing Russia of lying after the declarations of two Russian citizens is ... absurd," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. "These are ordinary citizens. They have nothing to do with the Russian state."
He added that he had not watched the interview himself and that he did not know whether President Vladimir Putin had but that it is "hardly likely" he has seen it in full.
The Kremlin responded after Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesperson said the interview contained "lies and blatant fabrications" and called it "an insult to the public’s intelligence". Peskov said that the Russian government’s position on the case has not changed and "we consider unacceptable any associations between the Russian leadership and the Russian state and what happened in Salisbury".
He declined to confirm whether Russia will allow British police to question the suspects if such a request is made, saying the men "have not broken any laws in Russia and we don’t know officially that they have broken laws anywhere else in the world".