The Prime Minister has revealed the forensic investigation has now produced sufficient evidence for the independent Director of Public Prosecutions to bring charges against two Russian nationals named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov for the chemical attack in Salisbury.
Based on work by the security and intelligence agencies, they have concluded that the two individuals are officers from the Russian military intelligence service, also known as the GRU. The same two men are now also the prime suspects in the case of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley.
The UK Government have now obtained a European Arrest Warrant for Petrov and Boshirov and will shortly issue an Interpol red notice. Russia refuses to allow its nationals to stand trial overseas, citing a bar on extradition in its constitution, so any formal extradition request would be futile. But should either of these individuals ever again travel outside Russia, we will take every possible step to detain them, to extradite them and to bring them to face justice in the UK.
In March, Russia sought to sow doubt and uncertainty about the evidence we found – and some were minded to believe them. The Prime Minister’s announcement shows that we were right to act against the Russian State in the way we did, and that we are right now to step up our efforts against the GRU.
Chris Davies MP said:
“The attack in Salisbury was a violent and shocking attack on British democracy by those who wish to undermine us. The security services have worked tirelessly in recent months to identify those responsible.
The people of Great Britain deserve to feel safe from attack whilst going about their daily business and the British Government will work with our allies around the world to ensure no nation feels confident enough to attack our people without harsh consequences.
The British Government will not tolerate such savage acts against our country. We hope that one day we can work towards having a strong partnership with the Russian people, but now we will use our allies and our global channels of communication to ensure that Russia know there is no place for this type of organised barbaric activity on British soil”.