UK preparing to seek extradition of Russian suspects over novichok attacks.
A UK bid to seek the extradition of two Russians over the novichok attacks is not as advanced as reports claim, Sky News understands.
The Guardian newspaper earlier said the government will make the bid to Moscow.
Russia’s embassy in London says they have not yet received any extradition requests over allegations any of its citizens were involved in the novichok poisonings.
Last month, reports emerged suggesting police had two names it had linked with the attacks – but these were dismissed as “speculation”.
Now, Russia has called reports of extradition requests “bogus”.
Former double agent Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia were in intensive care for several weeks after being poisoned with the chemical substance at his home in Salisbury in March.
They were found in a serious condition on a bench in The Maltings shopping centre, and the discovery of the substance sparked a city-wide investigation with police having to cordon off large areas, including where they had eaten dinner that evening.
Three months later, Dawn Sturgess and her partner Charlie Rowley fell ill after they came into contact with the substance, which was found in a sealed perfume bottle.
They came across the substance in Amesbury, about eight miles away from Salisbury.
Ms Sturgess died after being exposed to 10 times the amount of nerve agent the Skripals came into contact with. She had been in hospital for eight days. Mr Rowley survived.
Reports about police having names for suspects were dismissed by security minister Ben Wallace as “wild speculation”.
Public Health England has said the risk to the public remains low, but has advised people not to pick up any unknown items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics, or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass.
“The advice remains, ‘if you didn’t drop it, then don’t pick it up’,” it said.
The government has continued to make clear it believes the Russian state was behind the attack on the Skripals.
Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian politicians have continued to deny any involvement in the poisonings.
The row has led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions between the UK, its allies and Russia.