Putin MOCKS Britain over Novichok 2: 'We've FOUND THEM - they are civilians'

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The two suspects in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are civilians, not criminals, Russian President Vladimir Putin says.

Putin urged the men to address the media and said there was "nothing criminal" about them, as he spoke at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. "We know who they are". Well, I hope they will come out themselves and speak about themselves.

British prosecutors charged two Russian nationals, identified as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, last week for allegedly poisoning former spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a military-grade nerve agent in the city of Salisbury in March.

Asked by the panel's moderator if the men work for the military, Putin replied that they are "civilians" and called on the men to come forward.

The failed attack sparked an worldwide diplomactic crisis with Russian Federation being accused by several countries - allegations Moscow has repeatedly denied.

'There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incidents.

Rowley in July unwittingly picked up a fake perfume bottle, which the perpetrators filled with nerve agent meant to poison Skripal and made to look like it was from a designer brand.

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Officers have formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury when Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.

The comments came one week after United Kingdom authorities charged two Russian men with using a Novichok nerve agent to poison former KGB spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

He accused Britain of attempting "to unleash a disgusting anti-Russian hysteria".

Scotland Yard has issued a European arrest warrant for the two men, who have not been seen publicly since the March attack.

Putin made no comment about whether the names they used were real.

In a statement that deepened the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, the Prime Minister said: 'The GRU is a highly disciplined organisation with a well-established chain of command.

It has further damaged already severely strained relations between Russian Federation and the West and has been a cause for solidarity at a time when Western officials accuse Moscow of seeking to cause rifts in relations between Western countries.

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