Britain has identified third Russian agent in attack on former spy

Ruslan Boshirov (L) and Alexander Petrov, likely aliases for the two men wanted in connection with the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia (AFP pic)

LONDON: British police have identified a third Russian military intelligence officer they believe carried out a reconnaissance mission before the attempted murder of double agent Sergei Skripal, the Telegraph newspaper reported.

Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service, was found unconscious with his daughter Yulia on a public bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4.

Britain said they were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviets, and has accused two men it says are officers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence service of carrying out the attack.

Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the poisoning, as have the two men identified by Britain.

The Telegraph said British police and security services think a third Russian agent visited Salisbury to help plan the attack on Skripal. The newspaper did not name the man.