Russia has termed the reaction of the United Kingdom authorities to the interview of its nationals Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected by London in the Skripal poisoning case as 'absurd'.
"It is absurd to accuse Russia of lying after statements made by two Russian citizens. They are ordinary citizens, they are not related to the Russian government," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. The spokesperson reiterated that the Kremlin considered any attempts to link Russian leadership to the Skripal case unacceptable.
"The position of Russia has not undergone any changes, it is absolutely unambiguous, transparent and consistent. We consider any attempts to link the Russian leadership or the Russian state to what happened in Salisbury unacceptable," Peskov said.
Last week, London said it had identified Russian nationals Petrov and Boshirov as the suspects in the Salisbury attack. Moreover, UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russian military intelligence of orchestrating the poisoning under the order of the central authorities. On Thursday, the interview of Petrov and Boshirov with the RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency was released. In that interview Petrov and Boshirov said that they had visited the United Kingdom as tourists but refuted any involvement in the Skripal case, saying that they had no relation to the Russian military intelligence service (GRU). The UK Foreign Office called the interview of the Russian nationals "obfuscation and lies."
Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was briefed about this interview and added that it was unlikely that he had watched the whole interview.
"I do not know, whether (the President) watched it or not. It is unlikely that he watched the entire (interview), because I do not think he had time for that. Although, he received some digests of brief news of course," Peskov told reporters adding there have been no any comments from Putin in this regard.
When asked whether any requests from the UK authorities regarding the interview with Petrov and Boshirov will be considered, Peskov said that if UK media wants to interview the two men they should address them directly. "It is necessary to ask these citizens. We are not engaged in organizing interviews with Russian citizens," Peskov said.
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