THE HAGUE, April 18. /TASS/. Russian national Yulia Skripal is hidden from the media and the public, which means in fact that she ‘is being held hostage by the British authorities’, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin told an emergency session of the OPCW Executive Council on Wednesday.
"Presently, the British authorities are zealously hiding Yulia Skripal from the media and the public," Shulgin said. "Her whereabouts are unknown. The Russian side, as well as her relatives (her cousin Victoria was refused an entry visa by the British authorities) are being denied access to her. She does not have the opportunity to go back to Russia and undergo medical examination and treatment," the permanent representative stressed.
"The abovementioned circumstances indicate that, in fact, the Russian citizen Yulia Skripal is being held hostage by the British authorities, held by force on the territory of the United Kingdom, subjected to psychological manipulation," he added.
On March 4, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a so-called Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russia of being involved in the incident. Moscow rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.