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Salisbury hospital does not confirm Skripals were treated for chemical poisoning — embassy

Salisbury’s hospital has never confirmed that former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had any symptoms of chemical intoxication

LONDON, April 10. /TASS/. Salisbury’s hospital in the United Kingdom has never expressly confirmed that former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia had any symptoms of chemical intoxication and were treated exactly for that, the Russian embassy in London said on Tuesday after analyzing statements by a number of hospital officials.

"The Salisbury Hospital has never confirmed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal had any symptoms of chemical poisoning and that they were treated precisely for this. Notably, today Dr Blanshard [Medical Director at the Salisbury District Hospital] has abstractly enumerated the general symptoms of such poisoning and explained how they are usually treated. At the same time, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to assure us that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are receiving high-quality medical care, again without details," the embassy said. "In this regard, today the Embassy has sent another Note Verbale to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a letter to Dr Blanshard with a request to clarify this fundamental issue."

"Furthermore, it remains unclear if either Sergei or Yulia Skripal agreed on a particular treatment or not. If not, who gave agreement on their behalf? What was their exact diagnosis and how the decision on the treatment was taken? What was this treatment? This is only a short list of questions that the British side has failed to answer," 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.