United Kingdom poisoning suspects: 'We were tourists'

Salisbury Cathedral which the prime suspects in the Novichok nerve agent claimed to have been visiting

The men, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told the RT channel that they went sightseeing in Salisbury but returned to London within an hour.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said the men had promised to send her images of their visit to Salisbury Cathedral - which they claimed was the reason for their visit - but haven't done so.

Despite telling the programme they were merely tourists in Wiltshire and had visited to see the city's "123-metre spire", the pair took no photos of their trip, and no pictures have, of yet, surfaced.

If the pair really were sight-seeing tourists, they made quick work of it, arriving in London from Moscow on a Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday night - after two visits to 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".

As Russians digested Thursday's freaky interview on Russia's state-sponsored TV channel with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, the men's itinerary was one thing that didn't add up for people here, even those who don't think Moscow stands behind Skripal's poisoning.

The men, who appeared to be about 40, claimed they did not know who Skripal was or where he lived.

As of 12:00AM AEST RT finally posted the entire interview, available on YouTube with English subtitles, however it appears that RT's video was removed less than three hours later.

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The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Novichok attack and have floated numerous conspiracy theories about who the "real" perpetrators might be.

"The only thing I can agree with them on is that Salisbury is a fantastic place, and I will be doing all I can with business leaders to promote tourism next year and beyond". "We'll see soon enough", he said.

During the interview, Petrov and Boshirov claim to be "middle men" dealing in nutritional supplements, fitness, and health foods.

"The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public's intelligence", British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman told reporters.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov denied working for the Russian military intelligence service. Boshirov said. He went on to claim that if they had such an item in their luggage, it would have been hard to get past airport customs agents without arousing suspicion. We get to Salisbury yet we don't stay very long. The men denied having any poison or the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle that United Kingdom police say was used to transport the nerve agent.

The men are civilians and "we know who they are", Putin told an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday in his first comments on the United Kingdom allegations. Two other people were affected and a woman, Dawn Sturgess, died in July after spraying herself with nerve agent after discovering the discarded bottle.

The pair said their lives were turned upside down after they were publicly named by United Kingdom police. "You should ask [the United Kingdom police]".

The network broadcast the interview with the suspects in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom on Thursday, even as it faces multiple ongoing investigations by media regulator Ofcom into its coverage of the attack in March.

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