Ex-Spy Sergei Skripal Recovering, Not in Critical Condition - Hospital
19:14 16.04.2018(updated 19:54 16.04.2018)
In March, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury. About a month later, the hospital announced that the ex-spy was no longer in a critical condition.
The Salisbury Hospital has announced that former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, who had been allegedly poisoned last month by a nerve gas agent, was recovering.
The statement comes just 10 days after the hospital stated that Skripal was no longer in a critical condition.
He and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench at a shopping center in the UK city of Salisbury on March 4. Immediately after the incident, the UK authorities have accused Russia of being behind the alleged poisoning, using what London claims is the so-called "Novichok" nerve gas, also known as the A-234 substance.
Russia has strongly denied the unsubstantiated claims and demanded access to the case's materials, including the samples of the poisonous substance used in the alleged "attack." However, London has repeatedly turned Moscow's request, as well as the demand to give the embassy consular access to Yulia Skripal, who is a Russian citizen.
Yulia Skripal, in her turn, was released from hospital on April 11 after recovering and regaining ability to speak in late March. UK police have released several statements on her behalf, in the latest of which she said, "I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can." The statement was published several days after media speculations emerged, alleging that the ex-spy's daughter was transferred to a guarded facility after leaving hospital.
In the mentioned statement released last week, Yulia was quoted by police as saying that her father was "still seriously ill," while she herself was "still suffering with effects of the nerve agent."
The Russian Embassy in the UK reacted to the statement, saying that Moscow needs proof that everything happening with Yulia Skripal now is ony her own will.
Most recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed, citing data from the Swiss laboratory that the BZ toxin was used in the poisoning of the Skripals, adding that the chemical has been in the possession of the US and the UK, but has never been produced in Russia. Specialists from the laboratory finished examining the samples on March 27.
In its turn, the Russian embassy in London stated that Swiss experts also "discovered strong concentration of traces of the nerve agent of A-234 type in its initial states as well as its decomposition products."
"In view of the experts, such concentration of the A-234 agent would result in inevitable fatal outcome of its administration. Moreover, considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning."
The Swiss experts have, meanwhile, refused to comment on Lavrov's remarks, referring to the OPCW.
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