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Putin: Russia ready to help UK probe into Salisbury incident

May 18, 17:47 UTC+3

The Russian president said he was glad to hear that Sergei Skripal had been released from hospital and wished him good health

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© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

SOCHI, May 18. /TASS/. Russia has repeatedly offered its assistance to the United Kingdom in investigating the Salisbury incident and this offer is still in place, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference after his talks with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday. 

"As for the investigation, we, on our part, have repeatedly offered all possible assistance to the British partners in this investigation, with no reply as of yet. Our offer is still in place," he said.

The Russian president said he was glad to hear that Sergei Skripal had been released from hospital and wished him good health. "Yes, I learnt from the mass media today that he had been discharged from hospital. I wish him good health. We are really very glad," he said.

Former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been earlier sentenced in Russia for spying for the UK, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, UK on March 4. Police said they had been exposed to a nerve agent.

After the incident, the British media reported the two had been in critical conditions, with chances for survival next to zero. However both soon began to recover. Yulia was released from hospital on April 10 and her father was reportedly discharged on May 18.

Following the incident, London claimed that the toxin of Novichok-class had been allegedly developed in Russia. With that, the UK rushed to accuse Russia of being involved, while failing to produce any evidence. Moscow refuted the accusations that it had participated in the incident and points out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia have ever done research into that toxic chemical.

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