Brown gives warn­ing

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS - Rus­lan Boshi­rov

THE world is in dan­ger of sleep­walk­ing into a re­peat of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008, Gor­don Brown has said. The for­mer prime min­is­ter, left, in­sisted dan­gers had in­creased be­cause the world is now “lead­er­less”. BRI­TAIN has ac­cused Rus­sia of “lies and bla­tant fab­ri­ca­tions” in the tele­vi­sion in­ter­view with the two sus­pects in the Sal­is­bury poi­son­ing.

Alexan­der Petrov and Rus­lan Boshi­rov told Rus­sian state-funded news chan­nel RT they trav­elled to the “won­der­ful” city in Wilt­shire af­ter rec­om­men­da­tions from friends.

The pair claimed they have been left fear­ing for their lives af­ter Bri­tain pointed to their in­volve­ment and said they were of­fi­cers in Rus­sian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence ser­vice the GRU.

Down­ing Street called the con­tent of the in­ter­view “deeply of­fen­sive to the vic­tims and loved ones of this hor­rific at­tack”.

In a trans­la­tion from Rus­sian, the pair told RT edi­tor-in-chief Mar­garita Si­monyan they worked in the fit­ness in­dus­try.

The broad­caster quoted Petrov as say­ing they ar­rived in Lon­don on March 2 and at­tempted to visit Sal­is­bury on March 3 but were thwarted by snow.

They re­turned the fol­low­ing day when it was warmer to see the cathe­dral.

He said: “Of course, we went there to see Stone­henge, Old Sarum, but we couldn’t Alexan­der Petrov do it be­cause there was muddy slush ev­ery­where. The town was cov­ered by this slush. We got wet, took the near­est train and came back [to Lon­don].”

In the men’s first in­ter­view since they were named pub­licly they de­nied car­ry­ing women’s per­fume, af­ter po­lice discovered a coun­ter­feit bot­tle that con­tained a “sig­nif­i­cant amount” of Novi­chok.

Boshi­rov ac­knowl­edged they may have been near Mr Skri­pal’s house but they did not know where it was.

They also asked for an apol­ogy from the UK, adding: “We just want this to be over.”

UK au­thor­i­ties be­lieve the pair smeared the highly toxic chem­i­cal Novi­chok on a door han­dle at the Wilt­shire home of for­mer GRU of­fi­cer Sergei Skri­pal, leav­ing Mr Skri­pal and his daugh­ter Yu­lia crit­i­cally ill.

Tests on the east Lon­don ho­tel room where the sus­pects had stayed showed con­tam­i­na­tion of Novi­chok.

A Gov­ern­ment spokesman said: “The Gov­ern­ment is clear these men are of­fi­cers of the Rus­sian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence ser­vice – the GRU – who used a dev­as­tat­ingly toxic, il­le­gal chem­i­cal weapon on the streets of our coun­try.

“We have re­peat­edly asked Rus­sia to ac­count for what hap­pened in Sal­is­bury in March. To­day they have re­sponded with ob­fus­ca­tion and lies.”

John Glen, the Con­ser­va­tive MP for Sal­is­bury and South Wilt­shire, also dis­missed the state­ments as “not cred­i­ble” – but he also joked he was de­lighted they could see the city’s “world-class at­trac­tions” de­spite “car­ry­ing Novi­chok in their lug­gage”.

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said the men had been dis­counted as mem­bers of his se­cu­rity net­work.

Boshi­rov said his life had been turned “up­side down”, ac­cord­ing to RT. He said: “We’re afraid of go­ing out, we fear for our­selves, our lives and lives of our loved ones.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.