Britain is clear that the men who appeared on Russian state television on Thursday are military intelligence officers whom police have identified as the suspects in the poisoning of a former Russian spy, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
The two men said they had been wrongly accused by Britain of trying to murder a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury and had merely been visiting the city in March for tourism, as reported by Reuters.
Asked about the interview, a UK government spokeswoman said: "The government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service - the GRU - who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country."
"We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. Today – just as we have seen throughout - they have responded with obfuscation and lies."