News 12 september — 18:30

Putin says suspects 'civilians, not criminals'

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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, BBC reports.

The UK government named them as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, and said they were from Russia's military intelligence service, the GRU.

Mr Putin said his government had found the pair and he hoped they would appear soon and tell their story.

Mr Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, were poisoned in the UK in March.

"We know who they are, we have found them," Mr Putin said in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell everything. This would be best for everyone. There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see in the near future," he added.

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