Yulia Skripal Says Strength 'Growing Daily,' Doesn't Reply To Russian Embassy Offer
RFE/RL April 05, 2018
London's Metropolitan Police Service has issued a statement on behalf of Yulia Skripal, who fell ill last month in Britain after exposure to a nerve agent, quoting her as saying her strength "is growing daily" and that the entire poisoning incident has been "somewhat disorientating."
Meanwhile, Britain's Foreign Office say Skripal, 33, has been informed of the Russian Embassy's offer of consular assistance but she has not taken it up.
"We have conveyed to Ms Skripal the Russian Embassy's offer of consular assistance," the Foreign Office said in a statement on April 5. "Ms Skripal is now able to choose if and when to take up this offer, but to date she has not done so."
The Foreign Office statement came shortly after Russia's ambassador to Britain, Aleksandr Yakovenko, repeatedly said Russia had asked for consular access to Yulia Skripal and had received no response from the British authorities.
The British government has accused Russia of carrying out the nerve-agent attack, and said Russia's attempts to take part in an international investigation are aimed at trying to cover up the truth about it its role.
Moscow denies any involvement and has suggested Britain carried out the attack with a Soviet-designed chemical warfare agent in an attempt to discredit Russia.
The statement released by London police on April 5 quoted Yulia Skripal, the daughter of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, as saying. "I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received."
"I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention the people of Salisbury that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated," the statement quoted her as saying. "Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism."
"I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you'll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence," the police statement quoted her as saying.
The statement did not mention the condition of her father, Sergei, the former Russian double agent who was also hospitalized after the two were found incapacitated on a park bench in the English city of Salisbury on March 4.
It also did not provide any information about how she thinks she and her father were exposed to the chemical warfare substance or who was responsible for the attack.
Both Skripals were initially reported in extremely critical condition with little chance of recovery. But they later were reported to be improving in the hospital.
The British government has accused Russia for the nerve-agent attack, which Moscow has denied.
The incident has ignited a fierce dispute between the West and Russia, leading to a series of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions and other measures.
Earlier on April 5, Russian state television broadcast what it said was a phone conversation between Yulia Skripal and a relative of hers in Russia.
Hosts on Russia's state-run Rossiya 1 television program 60 Minutes said they obtained a recording from Yulia Skripal's cousin, Viktoria, that was purported to be a telephone conversation between the two women. But the Russian state broadcaster said it could not guarantee the authenticity of the recording.
In the recording, a woman introduces herself by saying "Yulia Skripal speaking." She says she expects to be leaving the hospital soon and that her father is "fine."
"Everything is fine [with Sergei]. He is resting now, he is sleeping. Everyone's health is fine. There is nothing that is irreversible. That's it, I'll be discharged soon. Everything is OK," she added.
With reporting by Reuters and AFP
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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