20:16 GMT12 April 2021
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    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The UK ambassador to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, said Thursday that she could not confirm whether Yulia Skripal had been interviewed by police in the ongoing investigation into the nerve agent attack in the English town of Salisbury.

    "There's a very thorough police investigation ongoing in the UK, criminal investigation. … I don't want to comment on whether or not they interviewed Yulia in the light of her statement but obviously she will be a very important person in all of this," Pierce told reporters.

    The UK ambassador went on by speaking about the consular access of Russian diplomats to Yulia Skripal.

    "On consular access, we have international obligations, we will fulfill those obligations. We will also take into account the wishes of Yulia herself," Pierce said.

    Currently, Yulia Skripal is in stable condition and conscious. Earlier in the day the UK's Metropolitan Police Service had issued a statement on her behalf, saying that Yulia's "strength is growing daily."

    READ MORE: Yulia Skripal: I Woke Up Over a Week Ago and My Health is Improving

    Her 66-year-old father, former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal, and Yulia herself were found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4, 2018. According to the United Kingdom's statements on the incident, the poisoning is believed to be a chemical attack, involving an A-234 nerve agent.

    Reacting to the incident a week after, London accused Moscow of colluding in the poisoning and initiated a series of measures in response, including the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the freezing of bilateral contacts. Many of the UK's allies, including the US and much of the EU, expressed their solidarity with the UK and expelled Russian diplomat workers from their countries.

    Russia has refuted London's allegations, pointing to the lack of evidence, and called for a joint investigation into the crime, which was ultimately refused.

    READ MORE: Moscow to Keep Pushing for Inclusion in Probe Into Skripal Poisoning

    This week, in a major embarrassment 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 confirm that the nerve agent was of Russian origin.

    READ MORE: London Admits Russia's Alleged Guilt in 'Skripal Case' Based on Assumptions

    UN Security Council Meeting on the Issue

    The British envoy to the United Nations, Karen Pierce, has addressed the UN Security Council meeting requested by Moscow, saying that Russia did not provide an explanation before calling the session beyond referring to a letter from UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

    "The Russians haven't given an explanation," Pierce said. "They have simply referred to Prime Minister May’s original letter [to] the Security Council."

    READ MORE: OPCW to Receive Results of Sample Analysis in Skripal Case by Next Week

    Russia's envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, requested on Wednesday that the key UN body meet to discuss the letter to the UN penned by May. Following this appeal, the UN Security Council will meet later on Thursday for talks.

    In the March 13 letter, the British prime minister reiterated that it was "highly likely" that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia and gave Moscow an ultimatum to respond to her accusations.

    Next Measures Against Russia

    The UK envoy announced that London was reviewing next measures against Russia over the Skripal case, as well as discussing them with British allies and partners.

    "We have been very grateful for a number of our allies and partners who have joined us in taking measures against Russian intelligence officers," Pierce said. "At the moment, I am not able to confirm what the next steps will be but it is something we keep under review, and we talk a lot of time to our friends and partners on this."

    Alleged Poisoning Attack on Russian Ex-Spy Skripal in UK (226)
    poisoning, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, Russia, United Kingdom
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