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Russian ambassador says glad to learn Salisbury policeman discharged from hospital

Sergeant Bailey was the first to arrive at the spot and he suffered from contacts with the chemical agent

LONDON, March 23. /TASS/. The Russian Ambassador in London, Alexander Yakovenko, said on Friday he was glad to learn about the release from hospital of police sergeant Nick Bailey, the first police office to arrive at the scene in Salisbury where the former Russian intelligence spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious, allegedly after poisoning.

"Glad to know that detective sergeant Nick Bailey has been discharged from hospital," he wrote. "Hoping for recovery of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, too."

The former colonel of the Russian military intelligence service GRU, Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia who had come to see him from Moscow the day before, were found sitting in a comatose condition on a bench outside a shopping mall in the town of Salisbury on March 4. The police said later they had been poisoned with a nerve agent.

Sergei and Yulia were taken to hospital, with the physicians describing their health status as critical. Reports on their condition have been scanty and vague ever since then.

Sergeant Bailey was the first one to arrive at the spot and he suffered from contacts with the chemical agent.

On the background of a frantic anti-Russian hysteria in the mainstream media, the British authorities rushed to issue charges to Russia but refused to provide a sample of the alleged nerve agent Novichok or any practical evidence in general. The hospital discharged him on Thursday, as his condition had improved.

Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have resolutely refuted any accusations in connection with the nerve agent, saying Moscow destroyed all of its stockpiles of chemical weapons under supervision of international organizations in charge of disarmament.

They have also said neither the USSR nor Russia ever had any programs for development and production of a war gas with the codename ‘Novichok’.

On the power of the scandal, the British government has expelled 23 Russian diplomats. Moscow has sent packing the symmetric number of British diplomats and ordered the closure of the UK Consulate General in St Petersburg. It has also stopped the operations of the British Council in Russia.