Yulia Skripal's 'strength growing daily' in UK hospital

The Salisbury attack victim has thanked the people of Salisbury for coming to her aid

Yulia Skripal's 'strength growing daily' in UK hospital

Yulia Skripal. Image: Facebook

The Russian woman who was hospitalised following a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, southern England has said her "strength is growing daily."

In a statement Yulia Skripal said she “woke up over a week ago” and thanked those who came to her aid in the wake of the attack.

The statement, issued by the London Metropolitan Police on behalf of the 33-year-old, said: "I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received.

"I have many people to thank for my recovery and would especially like to mention 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.

"I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you'll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence."

The statement made no mention of her father, 66-year-old former double agent Sergei Skripal, who is believed to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The pair have been receiving treatment at Salisbury District Hospital since they were found collapsed on a public bench on March 4th.

Diplomatic row

Britain has consistently insisted that the Russian State was behind the attack – a claim that Moscow strenuously denies.

Russia has called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council this evening to discuss the allegations after British researchers admitted that while they were able to determine that the nerve agent used was novichok - a military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia from the 1970s onward – they could not confirm that it was manufactured in Russia.

More than two dozen countries – including Ireland – moved to expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK after the British Prime minister insisted there was “no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable” for the attack.

British allegations

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has come under fire for his claim that staff at UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down were "absolutely categorical" that the nerve agent was made in Russia.

His office has also admitted deleting a tweet claiming that experts had “made clear” that the substance was produced in Russia.

Yesterday, Moscow's bid for a joint UK-Russia investigation into the Salisbury attack was voted down at an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The international watchdog expects to receive results from test samples collected in Salisbury early next week.

The UN's Security Council is due to convene later today to discuss Britain’s allegations.

Yulia Skripal

Ms Skripal's Met Police statement came after Russian state TV aired what it said was a phone conversation between Ms Skripal and her cousin Viktoria Skripal.

Ms Skripal was quoted as having told the cousin: "Everything is fine, everything is fixable; everyone is getting better."

Asked about her father, Ms Skripal was said to have added: "Everything is fine; he is resting, sleeping. Everyone's health is fine."

Ms Skripal was also reported to have claimed she would soon be discharging herself from hospital.

he Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, told journalists he could not confirm the reports that Ms Skripal was "getting better," noting that British officials have not informed Moscow of her condition.

Mr Yakovenko said it was a "good opportunity" for Moscow to ask the Foreign Office "once again" about the condition of the Skripals.