Russian ambassador 'happy that Sergei Skripal is alright' on discharge from hospital

Ex-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was discharged from hospital in the British city of Salisbury on Friday, following months of medical care after a nerve attack on him and his daughter.

On March 4, Skripal, 66, and Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a park bench in the small city around 80 miles west of London. It was later determined (Sky News) by the UK’s Porton Down laboratory that the pair had been poisoned with novichok, a powerful nerve agent designed by chemists in the former Soviet Union. Yulia left hospital in April.

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WikiTribune attended a press conference at the official residence of the Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, on Friday. Yakovenko expressed his “happiness” at the news that Skripal had left hospital. “We are happy that he is alright,” he said.

During the same conference, Yakovenko also expressed regret that, according to him, Russian consular services were being denied access to the Skripals, who are Russian citizens. “I raised this issue with the [British] Foreign Office, with no success. We want access to these people, to be able to tell us personally what they want,” he said.

Britain and over 20 international allies blame Russia’s government for the poisoning, though the Kremlin denies responsibility.

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In a statement delivered days after the poisoning, UK Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that it was “clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.” May said that the British government had “concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal.”

The Russian government reacted furiously to the accusation, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling (CNBC) the claims that Russia was responsible for the attack “propaganda.”

In March, over 20 countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats in a coordinated show of solidarity with the UK following the poisoning, a move met with tit-for-tat expulsions of Western officials by Russia.

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