Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects may have been "lovers of romantic holidays in the UK," speculates the Russian press

Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects may have been "lovers of romantic holidays in the UK," speculates the Russian press

The two men suspected of killing Sergei and Julia Skripal with the deadly Novichok may have been lovers in a romantic vacation, Russia speculated.

The UK has accused the Russians Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of having carried out the failed strike against the former Russian spy and his daughter in March.

But the two men claim they are innocent businessmen who went to Salisbury, Wiltshire to see their famous cathedral.

Now Russian media have questioned whether they could be "lovers on vacation".

The speculation started when the couple was asked by RT: "On the (CCTV) video one is always shown together.

Britain claims Petrov (left) and Boshirov are Russian spies

The men said they were the couple portrayed in CCTV images by British police

"They were together, living together, going everywhere together.

"What is really connecting you?"

When questioned, Boshirov replied, "Let's not invade our privacy."

The suspects interrupted a week after the indictment that the couple had carried out the attack, their silence to the Russian news channel RT.

They said they are the men portrayed in CCTV images, but claim that they traveled to the UK for only 48 hours, as tourists suggested to friends "for a long time" that they would visit the "wonderful city".

In Britain, the interview was quickly called a farce, and the government said it was full of "lies."

The men claiming to work in sports nutrition said they arrived in Britain on 2 March, had checked a train station timetable that day, and had taken a train to Salisbury on 3 March.

The suspects walk on a snow-free pavement on March 4 at Fisherton Road in Salisbury

Russian nationals Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov on Wilton Road, Salisbury on March 4, 2018

The couple, from a country with some of the coldest temperatures and heaviest snow on earth, claim that their visit was short-lived because the city was "covered with snow" and there was "muddy mud" everywhere.

Petrov said about the weather: "We tried to walk around town, but it only took us half an hour because it was covered in snow.

"Of course we were there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we could not do it because there was muddy mud everywhere.

"The city was covered by this slush, we got wet, took the next train and came back (to London)."

Boshirov added, "We did not spend more than an hour in Salisbury, mainly because of the delays between the trains, maybe we visited Skripal's house, but we do not know where it is."

Yulia Skripal in the picture with her father Sergei

The couple returned to Salisbury on March 4, the day of the poisoning, because, according to Petrov, "everything had melted away in London, it was warm and sunny weather."

He added, "We went there specially [again] to see the Old Sarum and the Cathedral and decided to finish this thing on March 4th. "

Simonyan asked, "What kind of thing?"

Petrov replied, "To see the cathedral."

A few hours later they were on their return flight to Moscow.

At Salisbury, on March 4, the couple were seen at home on a snow-free road near Sergei, about a mile from the city's train station in the opposite direction of the cathedral.

CCTV image of the Metropolitan Police issued by Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov

The men also said they did not carry Novichok or any other poison, and they had no perfume bottle in their luggage.

It is alleged that the poison was brought to the UK in a fake perfume bottle.

Boshirov said, "Is it silly for decent guys to have female perfume? Customs checks everything, they have questions about why men have perfume in their luggage, we did not have it."

The Skripals were in the hospital both months before they were healthy enough to be released.

Det Sgt Nick Bailey, a police officer who visited Sergei's house shortly after the attack, also became seriously ill because he was exposed to the substance.

He was later released, but he was unable to return to work.

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