Putin says Skripal case 'suspects' innocent

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Russia says that the two men  accused of poisoning an ex-spy in Britain have done nothing criminal, President Vladimir Putin said here Wednesday.


Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: AP)

At a plenary session of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum here, Putin said he hoped the two civilian men will explain everything to the media.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that the British police and intelligence agencies identified two Russian nationals they believe were responsible for a nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March in the British city of Salisbury.

Traces of the deadly nerve agent Novichok used in the attack were found in a London hotel, she told MPs in the House of Commons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the accusation was groundless and "absolutely unacceptable."

The poisoning case triggered a diplomatic row in which Russia and some Western countries expelled a large number of each other's diplomats. The United States has also imposed massive economic sanctions against Russia over the incident.