UK preparing to ask Moscow for Novichok suspects

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The UK is set to demand Russian Federation extradites two people suspected of carrying out the Salisbury nerve agent attack, according to reports.

The Times newspaper alleged in reports that detectives from the Metropolitan Police in London are understood to be confident they have identified the would-be assassins who used a perfume bottle containing the deadly poison novichok in their unsuccessful attempt to kill Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, aged 33, in March. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisonings, but United Kingdom intelligence chiefs have continued to accuse the Russian government and Russian President Vladimir Putin himself of signing off on the attacks.

The government has been consistent in pointing the finger of blame at Moscow for the poisoning using Novichok - a military-grade nerve agent developed by the former Soviet Union.

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The Times notes that the request for extradition of Russians in the case of the poisoning is part of a plan for the resumption of pressure on the Kremlin in connection with the attack involving nerve agents "Beginner".

Any extradition request is likely to be rejected by Russian Federation - and risks inflaming diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, which are the worst since the Cold War. The Russian Constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to another state.

Russian officials refused to hand over suspects in the murder case of Alexander Litvinenko.

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"This is Litvinenko all over again". They were found unconscious on a bench in a shopping centre after being exposed to novichok. Later, Sturgess died in the hospital, the other victims were discharged after treatment. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement and accused British intelligence agencies of staging the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

Mr Rowley, like the Skripals, recovered from the attack but Ms Sturgess, his partner, died.

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