Russian nerve agent accused ‘posed as businessmen’

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British prosecutors have charged two Russian men with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

On Wednesday, two Russian nationals - Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - said to be members of Russia's military intelligence service the GRU, were identified as suspects by police investigating the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in March. They were both since discharged from the Salisbury District Hospital.

Emergency workers in protective suits search a residence in Salisbury, England, in which a man and woman were exposed to the novichok nerve agent on July 6, 2018.

She is expected to speak to other leaders over the next few days as she seeks to forge an worldwide alliance for further action against Russian Federation.

Mr Wallace told the BBC: "The GRU is, without doubt, not rogue, it is led, linked to both the senior members of the Russian general staff and the defence minister and, through that, into the Kremlin and the president's office".

US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau issued a joint statement with Mrs May agreeing with the British assessment that the operation was "almost certainly approved at a senior government level" in Moscow.

The identification of the two Russian military intelligence officers (said to belong to Russia's main intelligence directorate for its military, Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye or GRU) followed a painstaking recreation of their movements, aided in large part by the ubiquitous network of surveillance cameras in the U.K. The two are seen entering the country on March 2, staying in London, and traveling to Salisbury.

United Kingdom intelligence chiefs blamed Russian Federation for the attack, but Moscow denies all responsibility.

Detectives believe the front door of Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with Novichok on Sunday March 4.

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".

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The officer continues to make good progress but remains off work, police said.

The attack left Mr Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter hospitalised for weeks.

May says United Kingdom intelligence services have concluded that the men, Alexander Petrov and Rusdan Boshirov, work for the GRU agency. The would-be assassins were caught on CCTV going through passport control: Boshirov with dark hair and a goatee, and Petrov dressed in blue and sporting stubble.

"On Sunday March 4 they made the same journey, travelling by underground from Bow to Waterloo station at approximately 8.05am, before continuing by train to Salisbury".

Russian Federation needs data to confirm or deny the identification of suspects in the Salisbury Novichok attack, the country's presidential spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Several hours after the attack on the Skripals, the alleged Russian spies were once again caught on camera, this time at Heathrow Airport, preparing to depart.

"Ultimately of course he is responsible, he is leader of the state", he said.

After that point, the surveillance trail went cold; the men's whereabouts are unknown.

Sue Hemming, CPS director of legal services, said, "Prosecutors from CPS Counter Terrorism Division have considered the evidence and have concluded there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and it is clearly in the public interest to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who are Russian nationals".

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