The Kremlin says it will consider any request by Britain to question two Russian suspects allegedly behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia had not received any such request but would look at one “in strict accordance with Russian law”.
Mr Peskov added that it was “absurd” to accuse Russia of lying about the two men accused of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury.
Claims by Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov on Kremlin-funded TV channel Russia Today that they were in Salisbury on 3 March as tourists to visit the cathedral and nearby Stonehenge have been met with widespread incredulity.
Britain has charged Petrov and Boshirov with attempting to murder Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia by spraying the nerve agent novichok on his door in the Wiltshire city.
The two men have suggested they are the victims of a “fantastical coincidence” and have called for an apology from the “real” poisoners.
British intelligence found the novichok was stored in a fake Nina Ricci perfume bottle, but the two suspects claimed that would not by a way for them to transport the nerve agent as it would be “silly for decent lads” to have women’s perfume.
Downing Street has rubbished the suspects’ claims that they simply wanted to see the sights of Wiltshire, describing them as “lies and fabrication”.
Theresa May’s spokesman said the Petrov and Boshirov’s comments were “an insult” and “deeply offensive”.
“The lies and blatant fabrications in this interview given to a Russian state-sponsored TV station are an insult to the public’s intelligence,” he said.
“More importantly, they are deeply offensive to the victims and loved ones of this horrific attack.”
On Wednesday, Mr Putin said the two men had been identified by the Kremlin and insisted they were civilians and “not criminals”.
(c) Sky News 2018: Kremlin ‘will consider’ request to question nerve agent attack suspects