Skripals poisoning accused-Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov
Skripals poisoning accused-Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov

We are entrepreneurs, not military agents, say Skripals poisoning accused

ANI | Updated: Sep 13, 2018 18:09 IST

Moscow [Russia], September 13 (Sputnik/ANI): In an exclusive interview with Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of the RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency, the two accused in the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter's poisoning in Salisbury, Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov said that they are mid-level entrepreneurs, not military agents.
"We are not (working in the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service) . We are mid-level entrepreneurs. If we tell more about our business, people we work with will suffer, we do not want this," the two said.
Petrov and Boshirov confirmed their identities and said that their pictures were published by the United Kingdom authorities referring to them as suspects in Salisbury ex-spy poisoning. Both revealed that these accusations have their lives turned upside down following the accusation.
While talking about their trip to UK, Petrov and Boshirov said that they were travelling to Europe on a business trip as tourists. They denied carrying any poisonous substance while they were travelling to Salisbury and London.
"No, it is nonsense," the two said, when asked whether they had any poisonous substance during their trip to the United Kingdom. When asked whether they had a Nina Ricci perfume bottle, as claimed by the UK authorities, Petrov and Boshirov noted that it would be strange for two males to carry it around.
"Is it silly for decent lads to have women's perfume? The customs are checking everything; they would have questions as to why men have women's perfume in their luggage. We didn't have it," the two explained, confirming that they had no female perfume with them during the trip.
Commenting on the photo of them going through border security, the two accused denied using separate corridors at the Gatwick airport. "We always go together through the same corridor and the same custom service officer or a policeman. One goes the other waits. We went through the corridor together, we always (do it) together. How did it happen? It's better to ask them (UK police)," they said in the interview to RT and Sputnik when asked to explain the photo from the Gatwick airport, showing them leaving through a gate almost simultaneously.
Talking about their visit to Salisbury, Petrov and Boshirov said that they went to the city on March 4 for sightseeing on a friend's advice. "We returned because snow melted in London, it was warm, the sun shone. We wanted to visit the Old Sarum and the Salisbury Cathedral," the two explained.
They further said that they were scared for themselves and their family. "We came here for protection, but it resembles interrogation . After our lives have turned into a nightmare, we had no idea what we should do - should we go to the police, to the Investigative Committee, to the UK Embassy, to the FSB? We were totally lost . We cannot go out, we are scared . We are concerned about own lives and those next of kin, those who know us," the two said.
Referring to the situation as a "fantastic and fatal coincidence", the two said that they have no idea what to do next and just want to be left alone. Petrov and Boshirov also revealed that they were going to post a video to ask for help but decided to address media because Russian President Vladimir Putin urged them to do so.
While commenting on the risk to be arrested abroad, Petrov and Boshirov said that they are hoping for the best. They asserted that they would like an apology from the UK authorities if and when the real perpetrators were caught.
"If they (the United Kingdom) actually find the poisoners, we would like them to apologize to us. We hope that this situation will be resolved, that the UK side will apologize to us, that they will find those involved in this situation with Skripal," the two said.
Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Office said on Thursday that it considered the interview of Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, suspected by London of poisoning Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, to the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency "obfuscation and lies."
"The Police and Crown Prosecution Service have identified these men as the prime suspects in relation to the attack in Salisbury. The Government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country. We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. Today - just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies," the statement, circulated in media, read.(Sputnik/ANI)