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Skripal’s niece says he could not have moved from UK because of health problems

She doesn’t think they could not have moved to New Zealand

MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. Viktoria Skripal, whose uncle Sergei, a former Russian military intelligence officer-turned-British-mole, and his daughter Yulia were allegedly poisoned in Great Britain in March 2018, told TASS on Sunday she doesn’t think they could not have moved to New Zealand because of health problems.

The Sunday Times reported earlier citing a high-ranking source in the UK government that the two has moved to New Zealand. The Skripals were reportedly given new identities and support to start a new life in New Zealand.

"Sergei and Yulia have repeatedly said their health had been seriously impaired and that they were under close medical supervision. They need treatment. I don’t think it is a right option to move people anywhere. Who will they receive treatment?," Viktoria said.

Moreover, in her words, New Zealand is a too small country for two notoriously known people to go on unnoticed. "It is impossible to hide the whole thing from all, even if they have undergone a lot of featural surgeries, which is highly improbable in Sergei’s health condition because he suffers from diabetes," she said.

According to Viktoria, reports that the Skripals have moved to another country might have been prompted by a new BBC film about them. "Last week, the BBC released a preview to its new film. It is highly likely that in the end they are granted new passports and move to another country," she said. "I think the BBC is simply hyping the affair to advertise its film."

Viktoria said earlier that Sergei had twice called her in the spring of 2019 and had spoken over the phone with his mother Elena in June 2019.

If the British version of the affair is to be believed, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia, 33, suffered the effects of a nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018. 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 neither the Soviet Union nor Russia ever had any program aimed at developing such an agent. Notably, Britain’s military chemical laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury said it failed to trace the origin of the substance that poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripals.