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Russian embassy demands consular access to Yulia Skripal

April 10, 18:13 UTC+3

Earlier, Yulia Skripal, the daughter of the former Russian officer Sergei Skripal, was discharged from the hospital

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© AP Photo/Matt Dunham

LONDON, April 10. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in London has sent another note to the British Foreign Office demanding consular access to Yulia Skripal, the embassy told TASS on Tuesday.

"The embassy referred another note to the Foreign Office demanding a meeting between Russian consuls and Yulia Skripal be organized in line with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the relevant bilateral Convention the British side keeps on violating," the embassy said.

Dr. Christine Blanshard, the Medical Director at Salisbury District Hospital, confirmed earlier in the day that Yulia Skripal had been discharged from the hospital. She also noted that her father, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, had "made good progress."

"We are sincerely glad for Yulia and wish her complete recovery. We thank the British medical personnel for their care of the Russian national," the embassy said. "But we are alarmed at reports that Yulia has been allegedly taken to a safe place, which may indicate that the course towards her isolation from the public will be continued in a bid to conceal important evidence and create obstacles for an unbiased and independent investigation."

According to the embassy, details of the Salisbury incident as expounded by Yulia "would be a weighty contribution to the probe." But London keeps on refusing to provide verifiable "information about Yulia’s health and wishes."

"The embassy knows nothing about the state she is in, neither does it know whether she speaks on her own behalf or it is the British authorities who speak for her in violation of her rights. We reiterate our plans to meet with her to make sure she is all right. At least, we demand evidence be given that everything that is being done in Yulia’s respect is done with her voluntary consent," the embassy stressed.

According to London, Sergei and Yulia Skripal suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a 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.

On April 3, Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead told Sky News that British experts had been unable to identify the origin of the nerve agent used to attack Skripal and his daughter.

However, in the wake of the Salisbury incident, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats and announced other restrictive measures against Moscow without presenting any evidence of its involvement in the incident. In retaliation to the UK’s steps, Russia expelled 23 British diplomats, closed the British consulate general in the city of St. Petersburg, while the British Council had to shut down its operations in Russia. The United Kingdom was later requested to reduce the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia so that it would match the number of Russian diplomats in Great Britain.

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