Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
Former Russian spy of Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition and his health is improving after he was poisoned by a nerve agent in the United Kingdom last month, hospital officials said on Friday.
Mr. Skripal, 66, is responding well to treatments and “improving rapidly”, the Salisbury District Hospital said, a day after the ex-spy’s daughter Yulia published a press release confirming that she was conscious and speaking.
The Skripal incident in the U.K. evolved quickly into an international diplomatic crisis, with London blaming Russia for the attack with Western support and Moscow denying the actions.
The U.S., Europe, Canada and other countries have revoked envoy status for several Russian officials and the U.S. closed Russia’s embassy in Seattle in response to the tensions, with Moscow responding in “tit-for-tat” action.
Yulia Skripal released her first public statement on Thursday since she collapsed from nerve agent poisoning in March, saying that her health is improving.
The British-based Skripal’s were taken into critical condition on Mar. 4, and her father remains hospitalized with that status.
The incident caused an international diplomatic crisis as Russian envoys were kicked en masse from Western countries after the United Kingdom said it was “highly likely” the Kremlin was behind the poisoning.
Russia retaliated by kicking Western diplomats out and suggesting London carried the attack on the ex-spy and his daughter and has called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting for 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Last week, the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said that she was improving rapidly but did not give more details.
“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,” the daughter Skripal, 33, said in the statement.
“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. 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.”
In the UK, the government is refusing to grant Viktoria Skripel, the cousin of daughter Skripel, a visa.
On Thursday, Russian TV aired a supposed conversation between Viktoria and Yulia over the phone.
The UK government speculates that Russia is using Viktoria “as a pawn.”
More details to follow. Image of the Skripal’s from the Standard.