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    Aug. 9, 2006 file picture Sergei Skripal speaks to his lawyer from behind bars seen on a screen of a monitor outside a courtroom in Moscow

    Sergei Skripal Out of Critical Condition, Responding to Treatment - Hospital

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    A Salisbury Hospital official has confirmed that the ex-spy, who was poisoned in a chemical attack in southern England last month, is recovering.

    "He is responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition," Dr. Christine Blanshard, Medical Director at Salisbury District Hospital said in a statement on Friday.

    The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom welcomed news about the improvement in the health condition of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, as well as expressed its confidence that an objective investigation into the incident will prove that London's accusations against Russia are "null and void."

    "We welcome the news of progress in Sergei Skripal’s recovery. We are grateful to the medical staff treating him and his daughter Yulia and wish them to get well soon. We hope that the improvement of Sergei and Yulia Skripal’s health will contribute to the investigation of the crime perpetrated against them," the embassy said in a statement.

    News of Skripal's recovery follows a statement released by the UK's Metropolitan Police Service on behalf of his daughter Yulia on Thursday. In her statement, Yulia Skripal indicated that she woke up a week ago and was making a good recovery. Scotland Yard declined to tell Sputnik whether or not police had questioned Yulia after she came out of her coma.

    Dr. Blanshard indicated Friday that Yulia Skripal was indeed making a recovery, that her condition has been upgraded to stable.

    "As Yulia herself says, her strength is growing daily and she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital," she said, adding that "any speculation on when that date will be is just that — speculation."

    The doctor also asked media to respect Yulia Skripal's privacy as she continues to make her recovery. "As you'll appreciate, I won't be giving any further updates at this time," Blanshard concluded.

    According to media reports, Yulia Skripal is now able to talk, eat and drink normally.

    66 year old ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, were hospitalized after being found unconscious in the southern English town of Salisbury on March 4 in a chemical attack believed to involve the A-234 nerve agent. Soon after, London blamed Moscow for the poisoning, and initiated a response including the ouster of 23 Russian diplomats, the freezing of bilateral contacts, and a government and royal family boycott of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia. Many of the UK's allies, including the US, Australia and much of the EU, have followed suit.

    Russia has rejected the UK's claims and called for a joint investigation into the Skripal case. The British government's claims of Russian complicity in the Skripal case suffered a blow this week after the head of the Porton Down defense lab said that the lab could not definitively conclude that the nerve agent was Russian-made, as previously claimed by Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

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