Russian nerve agent accused ‘posed as businessmen’

The two suspects caught on CCTV while standing at Salisbury railway station at 16:11hrs on 03 March 2018  Metropolitan Police Handout

Mrs May has spoken to all four of her fellow leaders in recent days to update them about the investigation.

Prime Minister Theresa May said police and prosecutors now believe the attack on Sergei Skripal was carried out by two Russian military intelligence officers who were nearly certainly acting with the approval of senior Russian officials.

A nerve agent was used in the attack in Britain, where two Russian agents are wanted for attempted murder.

"Just as the police investigation has enabled the CPS to bring charges against the two suspects, so the security and intelligence agencies have carried out their own investigations into the organisation behind this attack, " she said.

Putin's foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Moscow that the names of the two Russian men suspected in the poisoning "do not mean anything to me". Therefore, an upsurge in her wants to add to the list of Russian names on a European Union travel ban, and penalties for misuse of chemical weapons can be quite easily seen.

Wallace said Putin has ultimate responsibility for the actions of the two Russian charged with attempting to assassinate Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with military-grade nerve agent.

May called the attack "sickening and despicable" and described the movements of the suspects, who have be named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

It had been unclear how the pair came across the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury but the two cases have now been linked, the British media reported.

She said that she does not know the men Britain suspects of being behind the poisoning.

British authorities and the global chemical weapons watchdog say the Skripals were exposed to Novichok, a type of military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the cold war.

Moscow strongly denies involvement in the attack, and Russian officials said they didn't recognize the suspects.

British prosecutors on Wednesday charged two Russian men with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this year.

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United Kingdom officials will come face to face with their Russian counterparts for the first time since the statement as they brief the UN security council on the two men suspected of the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

British police released CCTV images of two Russian men they said flew in to Britain for a weekend to commit murder.

Britain has said it is not going to seek their extradition because Russian law does not allow for its nationals to be tried overseas.

Former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow on August 9, 2006.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday denied any Russian role in the poisoning, saying that Russia has no new information about it because Britain has refused to share case files.

Police believe the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of Mr Skripal's house.

More than three months later, the bottle was found by a local man, Charlie Rowley.

He was hospitalised and his girlfriend Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to the contents.

Rowley tried to put the two parts of the bottle together at home on June 30, during which he got some of the poison on himself.

Ms Sturgess, who died after being exposed to novichok, and Mr Rowley, were not targeted intentionally, May said, but rather were victims of "the reckless disposal of this agent".

The men stayed at a hotel in London and travelled from Waterloo train station before being captured again on CCTV at Salisbury on March 4, the day the Skripals were attacked on March 4.

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