Wiltshire

Charlie Rowley: Novichok victim 'wants to meet Vladimir Putin'

Composite image featuring Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess
Image caption Charlie Rowley said he cannot see the Russian president "taking the blame"

A man who was exposed to Novichok wants to meet Vladimir Putin in order to "get to the bottom" of the poisonings.

Charlie Rowley, 45, said Russia's ambassador has agreed to try to arrange a meeting with the country's president.

Mr Rowley's partner Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to the nerve agent used to attack former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

He said previously that he "didn't really get any answers" when he met the Russian ambassador.

Mr Rowley told BBC Wiltshire he wanted to meet the Russian president to "get to the bottom of things".

He said: "That would be great, yeah, I'd like to see him, get some face-to-face and ask him on a one-to-one basis, just sort of tick it off the list, say I've done it."

The Skripals were exposed to the nerve agent in in March last year.

Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess, 44, fell ill in Amesbury months later after coming into contact with a perfume bottle believed to have been used in the poisonings and then discarded.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July.

Image caption Charlie Rowley was exposed to the same poison used to attack Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia

Asked if the question of meeting Mr Putin had arisen during his meeting with the ambassador, Mr Rowley said: "It did. He did say he's going to try and push forward, try and get some results, get back in contact with my brother."

His brother Matthew added: "He couldn't say yes or no, but said if he was to say yes, where would you like to meet.

"I said on our behalf it would be better on his own home turf, in Russia, and he said he would try and organise it for us."

Mr Rowley also said that an apology "would be great" but that he could not see Mr Putin "taking the blame".

In September, Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service said there was sufficient evidence to charge two Russians - known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov - with offences including conspiracy to murder.

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