OREANDA-NEWS. Spiegel Online reports, citing sources, that the German Public Prosecutor General’s Office and the Federal Criminal Police Office started a preliminary investigation against the defendants in the Skripal case.

During it, it turned out that the alleged employees of Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU, now – the Main Directorate of the General Staff), known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, spent three days near Frankfurt am Main in 2014. According to journalists’ sources, German law enforcement officials suppose that the intelligence unit, with which Petrov and Boshirov were associated, could have connections in Germany.

The representative of the Prosecutor General of Germany refused to comment on this information. “The department indicated that they inform the media about their activities, taking into account a number of aspects. It takes into account, in particular, the right of the press to receive information, and on the other hand, personal rights and possible threats to the investigation. In this regard, the Prosecutor General’s Office, with the exception of some cases, does not report whether it conducts an investigation against a certain person or is engaged in a specific case,” the interlocutor of TASS news agency said.

European authorities consider Petrov and Boshirov to be involved in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March 2018. According to Bellingcat and The Insider, the real name of the suspects are Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin. In December 2018, the United States imposed sanctions against GRU employees, and Boshirov and Petrov also fell under restrictions. In October, sanctions were extended.