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The Latest: UK calls Security Council talks on poison case

September 5, 2018
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This CCTV image issued by the Metropolitan Police in London shows Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov at Salisbury train station on March 3, 2018. They face multiple charges including, use of the nerve agent Novichok. (Metropolitan Police via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Britain has called a United Nations Security Council meeting for Thursday to discuss the Novichok poisoning case.

Officials plan to update members on the progress of the investigation at the meeting.

Russia will be present at the meeting because of its status as a Security Council member.

British officials said Wednesday they have charged two alleged Russian military intelligence officers with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury — though authorities held out little hope of being able to bring them to justice.

Prosecutors said the men are being charged in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok, prosecutors said.

Prime Minister Theresa May told lawmakers that British intelligence has concluded that the two men are officers of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.

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2:05 p.m.

A senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn’t know the people whom Britain named as suspects in the poisoning of a former Russia spy.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that the two suspects behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter work for Russia’s military intelligence.

Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters in Moscow that the names of the two Russian men suspected in the poisoning “do not mean anything to me.”

Ushakov pointed to the fact that British authorities mentioned that they think the men’s names are aliases and wondered “why this has been done and what kind of a message” Britain is trying to send to the Russian government.

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1 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says the two prime suspects in the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are agents of Russia’s military intelligence agency.

May says U.K. intelligence services have concluded that the men, Alexander Petrov and Rusdan Boshirov, work for the GRU agency.

British prosecutors have charged the two men with the attack on the Skripals, but acknowledge that Russia will not extradite them. They say the names are probably aliases.

Police say they came to Britain two days before the March 4 attack on the Skripals in the city of Salisbury, and that traces of the Novichok nerve agent were found in their London hotel room.

Russia denies involvement, but May said Moscow was spreading “obfuscation and lies”

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12 noon

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman says Moscow has no knowledge of the suspects named in the poisoning of a former Russian agent in Britain.

British prosecutors on Wednesday charged two Russian men with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this year. Police say the men flew from Moscow to London two days before the Skripals were poisoned on Russian passports but that it believes that the names were aliases.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the names of the men and their photos “say nothing to us.” Zakharova called on Britain to cooperate with Russian law enforcement agencies on the investigation. She has criticized London for turning down Moscow’s request to see the case files.

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11:40 a.m.

The Kremlin is denying that it played a role in the poisoning of a former Russian spy in a British city, saying that Britain is not sharing any intelligence with it.

British prosecutors on Wednesday charged two Russian men with the nerve agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia earlier this year. The prosecutors said that the U.K. is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country’s citizens.

Police say the men, both about 40, flew from Moscow to London two days before the Skripals were poisoned on March 4.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday denied any Russian role in the poisoning, saying that Russia has no new information about it because Britain has refused to share case files.

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11:30 a.m.

Police say they believe the nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter was smuggled to Britain in a counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume bottle and applied to the front door of Skripal’s house.

More than three months later, the bottle was found by a local man, Charlie Rowley. He was hospitalized and his girlfriend Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to the contents.

Police are still trying to determine where the bottle was between the Skripal poisoning in March and its discovery by Rowley on June 27.

As a result, he said, police are not yet ready to bring charges in the second poisoning. 

Assistant police commissioner Neil Basu would not say whether police believe the suspects worked for Russian security services but, he said, “This was a sophisticated attack across borders.”

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11 a.m.

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.

The Crown Prosecution Service says Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are charged in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok.

Prosecutor Sue Hemming said Wednesday that the U.K. is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country’s citizens.

Police say the men, both about 40, flew from Moscow to London on Russian passports two days before the Skripals were poisoned on March 4.

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