President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia identified two British men suspected of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal with a military-grade neuralgic agent, saying they were civilians.
"We know who they are, we have found them," Putin said at an economic forum in the presence of Japanese Shinzo Abe and Chinese Xi Jinping in the eastern city of Vladivostok.
"They are civilians, of course," he said, apparently responding to a claim by British authorities that the two suspects are members of Russia's military intelligence agency.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that two Russian spies carried out an attack of neurotoxic agents against a former colleague on British soil, while prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against the suspects.
Prosecutors filed charges against Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov for attempting to kill former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with Novichok in the city of Salisbury on March 4.
May told parliamentarians that the two "are officers of the Russian military intelligence service, also known as GRU," adding that the attack was sanctioned from above.