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Yulia Skirpal's video statement sheds no light on poisoning incident — Russian diplomat

May 24, 21:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Yulia Skripal's statement has explained nothing, an ambassador says

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© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

MOSCOW, May 24./TASS/. A video address of Yulia Skripal, released on Wednesday, has explained nothing, and Russia has been left with the same questions on the poisoning of Yulila and her father, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told Sixty Minutes program on Rossiya 1 television on Thursday.

"We are analyzing this speech of Yulia Skripal. The text (of the filmed public statement) was very strictly adjusted and did not contain any additional information except from what we had already seen in local media. We have the same questions left that we are still referring to the British side," the diplomat said.

"Unfortunately, there are several positions where we are absolutely dissatisfied with cooperation with the UK," Yakovenko said, adding that consular access to Yulia had been denied.

According to the diplomat, the very appearance of Yulia came as a result of pressure from Russia, however the Russian side has not got much from this interview.

"We continue putting pressure on the UK. In particular, many questions are currently asked in the British public opinion, in social media, which take a very active position. And what [Yulia] Skripal has presented to the UK public, the world public - this is the result of pressure from the Russian side," Yakovenko said.

Salisbury poisoning

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and was later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, the UK. Police said they had allegedly been exposed to a nerve agent.

London immediately accused Russia of being involved, but failed to produce any evidence. British Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to blame Russia for "unlawful use of force" against her country. She identified the alleged substance used in the attack as the so-called Novichok nerve agent, allegedly developed in the former Soviet Union. Russia has flatly rejected these allegations pointing out that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had any programs to develop that substance.

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