Former Russian Agent Serguei Skripal on 9 August 2006 at a Military Court Hearing in Moscow
The state of health of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, poisoned a month ago in Britain with a particularly dangerous nerve agent, is improving rapidly, their doctors said.
After the Skripal intoxication, which occurred on 4 March in Salisbury, southwest England, where the former spy lives, the experts had questioned their chances of survival.
But Friday doctors at Salisbury Hospital, where the Skripal have been treated since their poisoning, gave reassuring news.
Sergei Skripal „responds well to treatment, his health is improving rapidly, he is no longer in critical condition,“ they said.
As for the condition of his daughter Yulia, it improves „daily“, said a doctor, Christine Blanshard. „She is looking forward to the day she can get out of the hospital.“
A British police officer who was hospitalized on 4 March after being intoxicated while rescuing the Skripal was able to leave the hospital on 22 March.
Yulia Skripal had publicly expressed Thursday for the first time since her hospitalization, through statements quoted in a statement from the British police. „I’m happy to say that I feel better and better every day,“ she said.
„We are very pleased that Mr. Skripal’s health and his daughter Yulia’s condition is improving,“ said the British Foreign Ministry.
The British public health service „will continue to provide care to the Skripal, who will probably continue to have medical needs,“ the ministry said in a statement.
And he reiterates London’s accusations against Moscow: „This is an attempted murder using an illegal chemical weapon that we know Russia has“.
From the beginning, the British government claims that the former spy and her daughter were poisoned by Russia. Moscow categorically denies any involvement in the affair and accuses London of conducting an anti-Russian campaign.
The case provoked a serious diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West, which resulted in the largest wave of cross-expulsions of diplomats in history.
Emergency services officers near the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found dead in Salisbury on 8 March 2018
The British Home Office announced Friday that it has refused an entry visa to Sergei Skripal’s niece. „His application did not comply with immigration rules,“ said a ministry spokesman.
Viktoria Skripal, who lives in Russia, said she had applied for a British visa to visit her relatives at Salisbury Hospital next Monday.
„I was sure it would happen, they must have something to hide,“ she told Sky News television, referring to the UK authorities.
The Russian Embassy in London has ruled the visa refusal „regrettable and disturbing“. The decision of the Ministry of the Interior „does not hold water,“ she said.
According to experts, Sergei Skripal’s chances of recovery are even higher when the appropriate treatment is administered quickly. In this case, „the healing is usually very good,“ said Chris Morris, of the Center for Medical Toxicology at Newcastle University.
„As far as we know, there is no specific antidote for Novitchok,“ the nerve agent of Soviet origin used according to London, told AFP the chemist and toxicologist Ralf Trapp.
Indicted by the West, Russia has been insistent since the beginning, and has explicitly accused the British and American secret services of causing poisoning.
– „indefensible position“ –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday accused British officials of „feverishly and feverishly seeking every day confirmation of their indefensible position“.
Moscow has also denied that the poison was manufactured in the city of Chikhany, in the south-west of Russia, as said Friday The Times citing sources in the British security services.
According to the newspaper, Chikhany is a „Russian Porton Down“, named after the British military laboratory specializing in chemical and biological research, which is near Salisbury.
„All the bases where chemical weapons have been stored are well known, Chikhany is not one of them,“ said Mikhail Babitch, Kremlin representative in the Volga Federal District and former chairman of the Commission. Russian state for chemical disarmament, quoted by Interfax agency.
The city of Chikhany, where a branch of the State Research Institute for Chemistry and Organic Technologies (GNIIOKhT) is located, was cited by several Russian scientists who worked on the Novitchok Soviet program.
Investigators at the home of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, England, March 22, 2018
In September 2017, President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia had destroyed its last chemical weapons reserves inherited from the Cold War era, in accordance with the terms of the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.