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Britain claims to have conveyed Russia’s offer of consular assistance to Yulia Skripal

April 05, 18:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ms Skripal is now able to choose if and when to take up this offer, but to date she has not done so, the British Foreign Office said

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MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. The Russian Embassy's offer of consular assistance has been conveyed to Yulia Skripal, the British Foreign Office said in a statement.

"We are pleased that Yulia's condition has improved," the statement reads. "We have conveyed to Ms Skripal the Russian Embassy's offer of consular assistance. Ms Skripal is now able to choose if and when to take up this offer, but to date she has not done so," the Foreign Office added.

Earlier on Thursday, the UK’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement on behalf of Yulia, in which she said: "I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily."

"I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence," she added.

Skripal incident

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 an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. 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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