September 5, 2018 / 12:54 PM / 16 days ago

Kremlin says puzzled by UK's decision to name Skripal case suspects

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov said on Wednesday that it was hard to understand what Britain was trying to signal to Moscow by naming two men it suspected of poisoning former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Ruslan Boshirov, who was formally accused of attempting to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, is seen on CCTV at Gatwick Airport on March 2, 2018 in an image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London, Britain September 5, 2018. Metroplitan Police handout via REUTERS

British prosecutors on Wednesday charged two Russians for the attempted murder of the Skripals with a nerve agent, naming suspects for the first time in a case that has caused one of the biggest East-West rifts in decades.

Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who were formally accused of attempting to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, are seen on CCTV at Heathrow Airport on March 4, 2018 in an image handed out by the Metropolitan Police in London, Britain September 5, 2018. Metroplitan Police handout via REUTERS

“We have heard or seen two names, these names mean nothing to me personally,” Ushakov told reporters in Moscow.

“Especially since Scotland Yard has said these names were apparently aliases. I don’t understand why this was done and what sort of signal the British side is sending. It is difficult to understand.”

(The story corrects the first name of Kremlin aide to Yuri)

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Andrey Kuzmin; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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