Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Sergei Skripal no longer in critical condition

Sergei Skripal no longer in critical condition

Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal's niece Viktoria, who wanted to visit her cousin Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom after the Salisbury incident, has been denied an entry visa, BBC reported on Friday.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia's conditions are improving, and Yulia is now conscious and talking.

"Any speculation on when that date will be is just that-speculation", she stressed.

In a statement from the hospital, medical director Christine Blanshard urged people to respect Skripal's privacy "while she continues to get better".

The Russian Embassy said Sergei and Yulia Skripal "remain hidden from the public" as a result of the visa decision and the "only relative" who could reasonably expect to see them is "kept out of the UK".

He remains hospitalized in critical condition.

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One month after Sergei and Yulia Skripal collapsed on a shopping center bench, apparently poisoned, the Russian ex-spy and his daughter are showing marked signs of improvement.

Yulia on Thursday released a statement in which she said she woke up "over a week ago" and that her "strength is growing daily".

She reportedly received a phone call from Yulia on Wednesday night who told her "everything is fine" and that "I will be discharged soon", adding that her father was "resting, sleeping".

"We welcome the news of progress in Sergei Skripal's recovery", it said.

Moscow has fiercely denied its involvement in the Skripal attack and has retaliated by expelling envoys.

However, British researchers have since confirmed that while they were able to determine that the nerve agent used was novichok - a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation from the 1970s onward, they could not confirm that it was manufactured in Russian Federation. In response, more than two dozen Western allies, including the USA, ordered out over 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity.

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Russian officials said yesterday that no chemical weapons were ever stored at Shikhany, although they stopped short of specifically addressing the claim that Novichok was made there.

The UK Worldwide Office acknowledged Thursday that Yulia Skripal has so far declined the Russian Embassy's present of consular assist following the assault.

Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the guinea pigs were found dead at Skripal's home after it was sealed off for investigations.

"We have told our British colleagues that "you're playing with fire and you'll be sorry", Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said during a more than 30-minute speech that attempted to poke holes in Britain's allegations against Moscow.

Police believe they first came into contact with the novichok agent at Mr Skripal's home, with the highest concentration found on his front door.

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