Kremlin Denies Putin Involvement in Poisoning of Former Spy Sergei Skripal

Despite British prosecutors recently charging two Russians in the U.K. for the attack, Kremlin continues to fend off accusations that the Russian government was involved

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at the joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo

The two suspects in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal have nothing to do with Russian President Vladimir Putin or the Kremlin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying on Sunday. 

Britain has charged two Russian men, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with attempting to murder Skripal and his daughter Yulia by spraying a chemical weapon on Skripal's front door in the southern English city of Salisbury in March. 

British police say they believe the nerve agent used to poison Skripal and his daughter was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of Skripal’s house.

Britain blamed Russia for the poisonings and identified the poison as Novichok, a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the two Russians, who were named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the prosecutors said. Police released two images of the men.

“We will not be applying to Russia for the extradition of these men as the Russian constitution does not permit extradition of its own nationals," said Sue Hemming, director of Legal Services at the Crown Prosecution Service.