LONDON, April 19. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in Great Britain has requested the British authorities allow Russian doctors to examine Yulia Skripal, the embassy’s press service said in a statement.
"On April 19, 2018, the Russian embassy in Great Britain sent a request to the Foreign Office demanding that Russian doctors be allowed to examine Yulia Skripal. Our worst fears are confirmed as we have been able neither to meet with Sergei and Yulia Skripal, nor to assess the state of their health nor to find out whether they are acting on their own behalf or facing pressure, or whether intelligence services are speaking on their behalf," the statement reads.
According to London, former Russian military intelligence Colonel 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 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.
Chief Executive of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down Gary Aitkenhead said later 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.
On April 12, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released a report which confirmed the information about the toxic agent but shed no light on its origin.
Yulia Skripal has already been discharged from the hospital and taken to a secure location, as the British authorities said, while her father still remains hospitalized though doctors say his condition is improving.