Just a few days after Sergei Skripal was released from the hospital, Yulia Skripal has provided an interview with Reuters, wherein she says that she was shocked at being told that she and her father had been poisoned. She stated also that she had no interest in ‘availing’ herself of the Russian embassy’s services, and had the intention of returning to her ‘home’ country of Russia ‘in the long term’.
In her first interview since surviving an alleged nerve agent attack, Yulia Skripal said she eventually wants to return to Russia. She has not shed any light on what happened in March in Salisbury.
“I came to the UK on the 3rd of March to visit my father, something I have done regularly in the past. After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned,” Skripal said in a video that was recorded by Reuters. She reiterated her words in a handwritten statement.
She and her father, Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double-agent, were found unconscious on a public bench in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. The UK government immediately accused Russia of being behind their poisoning, but it has yet to provide evidence for the claim. Skripal did not comment on who she thought was to blame for her poisoning.
“I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked. We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination. Our recovery has been slow and extremely painful,” she said. “The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking. I don’t want to describe the details but the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing.”
She also said that she was “grateful” for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy, “but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services.” Skripal reiterated what she had said in an earlier written statement released by British police: “no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves.”
Following the release of the interview, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman addressed Yulia Skripal in a comment to RT.
“We’d like Yulia Skripal to know that not a single day passed without the Foreign Ministry, Russia’s Embassy in London trying to reach her with the main purpose to make sure she was not held against her will, she was not impersonated by somebody else, to get the first-hand information about her and her father’s condition,” Maria Zakharova said.
Russia’s Embassy in the UK welcomed the release of the interview, stating: “we are glad to have seen Yulia Skripal alive and well.” The video itself and the wording of the written statements, however, raised concerns with Russian diplomats, who urged London once again to allow consular access to Yulia “in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure.”
Skripal said that the ordeal had turned her life “upside down,” both “physically and emotionally.” She added that she was now focused on helping her father to make a full recovery, and that “in the long term I hope to return home to my country.”
London was quick to point the finger at Moscow over the incident, arguing that the alleged nerve agent used in the attack, A-230 or ‘Novichok,’ was only manufactured in Russia. However, UK officials have so far failed to provide evidence linking Moscow to attack, and the claim that the nerve agent could have only been made in Russia has been disputed by London’s own European allies.
In May, Czech President Milos Zeman acknowledged that his country had previously produced a nerve agent similar to the one that Britain claims was deployed against the Skripals. The admission was followed by an explosive story in the German media, which claimed that a sample of Novichok was obtained by German intelligence back in the 1990s and that Western countries, including the US and the UK, have long been aware of the chemical make-up of the nerve agent.
Russia has asked NATO to provide a full list of the member states that have conducted research on Novichok.
It’s interesting to see Yulia up and about, walking around, with no observable discrepancies in her ability to move and function normally, as well as to pen a statement, which would seem to show that whichever hand she writes with, and therefore may have touched the door knob with, assuming that the toxin was absorbed via the skin, therefore coming into contact with the lethal dose of the novichok class nerve agent, is not suffering serious nerve damage, given the precision and control with which she apparently is able to coordinate.
Her words in this videotaped interview also indicate that she is housed at the same location that Sergei was taken to following his release from SDH, and her care for him is therefore cited as the reason for her decision to delay her return to Russia.
This isn’t the first time Yulia has issued contact with the outside world since the incident took place. There was a statement issued by the police, as well as a phone call between Yulia and her cousin, Viktoria on April 5th. In that phone call, Yulia specifically tells her cousin that she will not be granted a visa to visit her in the UK. She also said that there were ‘no irreparable things’ which could be interpreted as there is no permanent physical damage resulting from their exposure to the lethal dose of nerve agent.
This presents a question, such as, how did Yulia happen to know unequivocably that her cousin would be denied the visa? That visa was later denied, following Viktoria’s application therefore. Viktoria The UK’s embassy and the UK government delivered variable reasons for why that visa was refused, and continue to be, ranging from Yulia’s condition, to ‘immigration rules’ to the fact that she had never previously been issued a visa to enter the UK. So, Viktoria decided to take the matter up with the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May in a letter. Relative to that April 5th phone conversation, Viktoria has stated that
“It was clear that she did not speak with her own words,” Viktoria told Ruptly. “It could not be heard on the phone, but [I heard someone saying] – ‘You can talk.’ She was obviously shuffled [by someone] and [somebody] dialed my number for her, because she clearly did not remember all nine figures of my cell number. Logically, she had to call my home number, but for some reason, she phoned my cell phone.”
The next question that this situation presents is just why Yulia is refusing even a phone conversation with the Russian embassy, or perhaps a friendly visit to survey her condition? If, indeed, this is the case, that she isn’t afraid that the Russians are after her, given that she intends to return thereto, then why not talk to the Russians to assure them of her condition and the legitimacy of the situation, either proving or disproving the narrative being peddled by the UK?
Finally, why does Yulia Skripal entertain returning to Russia, given that it is alleged that the Russian government was behind the assassination attempt, and the assassin(s) is/are still at large. Therefore, wouldn’t a return to Russia be tantamount to suicide, should the Russians try to finish the job?
The most logical conclusion is that the UK government is involved in a cover up and will keep the Skripals guarded to keep the truth from ever getting out. I hope I’m wrong, but, given current conditions, I’m of the opinion that the UK will likely never allow her to set foot on Russian soil again.
There remains a multitude of inconsistencies with this case ranging from where the poison was encountered, to what amount was used, where it actually came from, how they managed to survive the poisoning, to where they are kept. The official UK narrative has been unravelling, with the amount of nerve agent being applied, in relation to its lethality, to their certainty about the alleged Russian origin of the toxin, while the Russians are being denied the opportunity to help investigate the case to the fact that the Skripals are still alive, which shouldn’t be the case, if novichok was the means of their attempted assassination.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.