Britain has criticized a television interview with two Russians who resemble men accused of trying to assassinate a former spy, saying it was "an insult to public intelligence" and "deeply offensive."
"The lies and blatant inventions in this interview with a television channel sponsored by the Russian state are an insult to public intelligence," British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman told reporters.
"More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrible attack," he said.
"Unfortunately, that is what we have come to expect … The police have established very clearly the evidence against these two men.
"They are wanted men and we have taken all necessary measures to ensure that they are arrested and brought to justice in the United Kingdom if they ever leave Russia again."
British prosecutors last week identified two Russians they said operated under alias, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whom they accused of trying to poison the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with a nervous agent of military rank in England. .
The two Russians who appeared on state television said they had been wrongly accused of trying to kill the Skripals and said they had visited Salisbury in March for tourism.
The men had some physical similarities to the men shown in the images of the British police.
"Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful city," said one of the men about the English city of Salisbury in a short video of the interview conducted by the RT television station, funded by the state of Russia.
They said that they had possibly approached Sergei Skripal's house by accident, but they did not know where he was located. They had stayed less than an hour in Salisbury, they said, due to bad weather.
"Well, we arrived on March 2, then we went to the train station to see the schedule, we arrived in Salisbury on March 3 and we tried to walk through the city, but we only lasted half an hour because it was covered in snow.
"Of course, we went there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, but we could not do it because there was muddy mud everywhere, the city was covered in this mud, we got wet, took the nearest train and came back (to London). "
Two men denied that they were military intelligence officers and said they felt they deserved an apology from the real perpetrators of the poisoning, if they ever found them.
They said that they did not work for GRU, they were ordinary businessmen and victims of what they called "a fantastic coincidence".
The duo came a day after President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had located Petrov and Boshirov, but that there was nothing special or criminal about them. He expressed the hope that they present themselves and speak in public.