16:25 GMT23 June 2021
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    The UK's Metropolitan Police Service has issued a statement on behalf of Yulia Skripal, one of the victims of the poisoning attack in southern England which sent Russian-UK relations into a tailspin.

    "I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily," Skripal said in a statement published on the Met's website. "I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received," the statement added.

    Skripal voiced her gratitude to the many people she said were responsible for her recovery, and offered special thanks to the people of Salisbury "that came to my aid when my father and I were incapacitated."

    "Further than that, I would like to thank the staff at Salisbury District Hospital for their care and professionalism," the statement added.

    The 33 year old Skripal asked the public to respect the privacy of her and her family during her continued recovery.

    The statement made no mention of the condition of her father Sergei, who is believed to be in critical condition in hospital.

    Scotland Yard has declined to tell Sputnik whether or not police have questioned Skripal since she came out of her coma. "I'm afraid this is not something we would discuss," a police spokesperson said. "Yulia does not wish to speak to the media at this time. As you know, she has been receiving treatment following a serious incident," the spokesperson added.

    66 year old Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018 in a chemical attack thought to involve the A-234 nerve agent. Just over a week after the attack, London accused Moscow of complicity in the poisoning, and initiated a series of measures in response, including the expulsion of nearly two dozen Russian diplomats and the freezing of bilateral contacts. Many of the UK's allies, including the US and much of the EU, followed suit.

    Russia has rejected London's allegations, citing lack of evidence, and called for a joint investigation into the crime. This week, in a major embarassment for the British government and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the head of the Porton Down defense lab admitted that contrary to London's claims, scientists could not conclude that the poison used in the Skripal case was of Russian origin.


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