September 13, 2018 / 10:49 AM / 2 months ago

Russians accused in spy poisoning say they are victims of coincidence

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two Russian men accused by Britain of poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter in England said on Thursday they had been the victims of a “fantastical coincidence” and were simply Russian businessmen on holiday abroad.

British prosecutors last week identified two Russians they said were operating under aliases - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - whom they accused of trying to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal with a military-grade nerve agent in England.

Two men with physical similarities to British police images of the suspects appeared on Russian state television station RT on Thursday, denying they were military intelligence officers.

They said they felt they deserved an apology from the real perpetrators of the poisoning, if they were ever found.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Christian Lowe; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Christian Lowe

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