Russia wants the UK to reveal what it knows about the identity of the two suspects in the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal. Moscow said it wants to get to the bottom of the case.
Allegations made by UK-based investigative group Bellingcat this week can't serve as the basis for an inquiry into the identities of the two Russians accused of attempted murder in the UK, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday in Moscow.
"We don't know to what extent we can make any formal conclusions about who looks like whom, are they alike, where they lived, where they grew up," Peskov said. "We do not want to participate any more in the propagation of this issue as a partner of the media," he added.
"From the very start, Russia has offered to conduct a joint investigation but faced British refusals," Peskov said.
On Thursday, Bellingcat identified Boshirov as Colonel Anatoly Chepiga of the Russian military intelligence agency (GRU). He was reportedly awarded Russia's highest medal in 2014.
Attempted murder most foul
London has said the attack received approval "at a senior level of the Russian state," while Russia denies involvement. Moscow has said the two men on surveillance footage near the scene of the poisoning were tourists visiting Salisbury.
Scotland Yard named two Russians as suspects in the attempted murder of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal
'10 Stalins, 15 Lenins'
Peskov ridiculed the claim that an old passport photo found by Bellingcat showed a close similarity between Chepiga and Boshirov. "We have 10 Stalins and 15 Lenins on Red Square, and all of them closely resemble the real ones," he said. "Such materials should only come from competent sources."
Read more: Opinion: The Skripal poisoning's smoking gun
Peskov said he had checked and found no information about such a person.
Russian business daily Kommersant reported on Thursday that residents of Beryozovka, a small village in Russia's far east where Chepiga's family once lived, said they recognized Chepiga as the man identified as Boshirov.
jbh/kms (AP, Reuters)