Russia's Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that two men Britain suspects of poisoning former spy Sergei Skripal with military-grade nerve agent had been identified as "civilians" and were not criminals.
Putin urged the men to address the media and said there was "nothing criminal" about them, as he spoke at an economic forum in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.
"We know who they are, we have found them," Putin said during an event with Japan's Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping.
"They are civilians, of course," he said, apparently responding to a claim by the British authorities that the two suspects are members of Russia's military intelligence agency.
Putin urged the men to speak to journalists.
"I hope they will turn up themselves and tell about themselves," he said in comments that hinted they will make a public statement shortly.
"There is nothing special there, nothing criminal, I assure you. We'll see in the near future."