Russia congratulates Yulia Skripal on recovery after attack

Russian embassy congratulates daughter of Russian spy for being discharged from hospital after attack blamed on Russia.

    The Russian embassy to the UK has congratulated Yulia Skripal on her recovery from a nerve agent attack that Britain and an array of Western allies blamed on Russia.

    Yulia Skripal, 33, was released from hospital on Tuesday after she and her father, a former Russian double agent, were poisoned in Salisbury in southern England last month.

    In a message posted on Twitter, the Russian embassy stressed the need for “urgent proof that what is being done to her [Yulia] is done on her own free will”.

    We congratulate Yulia Skripal on her recovery. Yet we need urgent proof that what is being done to her is done on her own free will.

    Doctor Christine Blanshard of Salisbury District Hospital said Yulia Skripal left the premises late on Monday after responding “exceptionally well” to treatment, adding that her father had made a slower recovery but would be discharged “in due course”.

    Skripal herself issued a statement last Thursday in which she said her strength was “growing daily”. 

    I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received,” she said. 

    Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on March 4 following exposure to Novichok, a nerve agent.

    Britain has maintained that Russia was responsible for the attack – an allegation Russia has denied.

    At a UN Security Council meeting last Thursday, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, said Britain was “playing with fire” by blaming Moscow for the poisoning.

    Many Western countries have sided with the UK by expelling Russian diplomats, prompting Russia to respond by also expelling several diplomats and their families. 

    Last week, a Russian proposal for a joint investigation into the poisoning was rejected in a vote at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

    Sergei Skripal, a former colonel in Russian military intelligence, was convicted of selling Russian state secrets to Britain in 2006.

    Skripal arrived in the UK four years later as part of a spy swap, which resulted in four prisoners being released by Moscow.

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