Yulia Skripal: Recovery from poisoning was slow and painful

  • Yulia Skripal: Recovery from poisoning was slow and painful

Yulia Skripal: Recovery from poisoning was slow and painful

Yulia Skripal has said she wishes to return to Russian Federation "in the longer term" despite the nerve agent attack on her and her father Sergei, which she described as life-changing.

The 33-year-old, who fell ill a day after arriving in Britain to visit her father, a former spy for Britain's MI6, appeared well as gave a pre-prepared statement to the Reuters news agency at an unspecified location in London.

According to the interview released by the news agency, Yulia expressed gratitude to the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom, which had offered her assistance, but explained that she "doesn't wish to avail herself of their services". A lethal nerve agent developed in Russian Federation during the Cold War was blamed for the attack.

"The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking", Skripal, who was in a coma for 20 days following the attack, told Reuters. "I also think fondly of those who helped us on the street on the day of the attack".

"In the longer term, I hope to return home to my country" once she and her father have both recovered, she added.

Speaking to the news agency, she said she was continuing "to progress with treatment" and her focus remains on her recovery.

Ms Skripal said that she wants to return to her country "in the longer term", despite being poisoned with a nerve agent.

She added: "I take one day at a time and want to help care for my dad till his full recovery".

Yulia's first media interview since being released from hospital "strengthens our concerns as to the conditions in which she is being held", the embassy said in a statement on its wesbite.

Dylan Martinez  Reuters
Dylan Martinez Reuters

A signed statement, writing in English and Russian, was released by Yulia on Wednesday, more than three weeks after she was discharged from hospital.

Russian officials question why Russia would want to attack an ageing turncoat who was pardoned and swapped in a Kremlin-approved 2010 spy swap.

"I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned", Skripal said in her first media appearance since the poisoning.

Yulia Skripal made her first filmed public statement with a deep red scar on her neck.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied it had anything to do with the poisoning and accused British intelligence of staging the attack to whip up anti-Russia sentiment. Her father, a former GRU intelligence officer, was discharged last week. "We don't know if she made these statements of her own free will or if she was pressured, we don't know where she is. and what is being done to her and by whom, to what extent her rights are being upheld, and how legally competent she is".

Detectives have said that novichok was smeared on the front doorhandle of Sergei Skripal's semi-detached Salisbury home. "So far, we have every reason to suspect the opposite".

The UK claimed that it was "highly likely" that Moscow was behind the incident and reacted by expelling 23 Russian diplomats.

Skripal arrived in Britain from Russian Federation at London's Heathrow Airport on March 3 on one of her regular visits to see her father.

"I am grateful to all of the wonderful, kind staff at Salisbury hospital, a place I have become all too familiar with". Russian President Vladimir Putin recently noted that if Novichok had been used, the Skripals would have died nearly instantly.