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Yulia Skripal makes first public statement after Salisbury incident

May 23, 20:05 updated at: May 23, 20:45 UTC+3

Yulia Skripal says she hopes to return to Russia

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© REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON, May 23. /TASS/. Yulia Skripal, who was subjected to poisoning along with her father Sergei in early March in England’s southern town of Salisbury, said she intended to return to Russia,  according to Reuters news agency.

"In the longer term I hope to return home to my country," the agency quoted Yulia as saying.

According to Reuters, Yulia Skripal spoke to journalists in Russian at an unidentified location and then submitted her handwritten translation in the English language declining to answer questions.

"After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned," she said. "I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked."

"We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination," according to Yulia Skripal. "The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking."

"I was discharged from hospital on the 9th of April and continue to progress with treatment but my life has been turned upside down as I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally."

She announced her intention to take some time to see the full recovery of her father and perhaps to return home in the perspective.

"I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recovery. In the longer term I hope to return home to my country."

"I wish to address a couple of issues directly and have chosen to interrupt my rehabilitation to make this short statement," she said. "I ask that everyone respects the privacy of me and my father. We need time to recover and come to terms with everything that has happened."

Yulia Skripal also said that she was "grateful for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services."

The Skripal saga

On March 4, 66-year-old Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the incident. The Russian side flatly 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.

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