Very small chance of survival for poisoned spy and daughter, says niece

Very small chance of survival for poisoned spy and daughter, says niece
Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

The niece of poisoned spy Sergei Skripal has said her uncle and cousin have only a slim chance of surviving.

Viktoria Skripal said the prognosis for the former Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia "really isn't good", as the pair remain in a critical condition following the Novichok attack in Salisbury on March 4.

She also revealed that Mr Skripal's mother had not been told of the incident.

She told the BBC: "Out of 99% I have maybe 1% of hope. Whatever it was has given them a very small chance of survival. But they're going to be invalids for the rest of their lives."

She added: "The first priority was to protect our granny so that she wouldn't hear or find out anything."

Her comments came as countries across the world joined the UK in diplomatic action against Russia, which has been blamed for the attack.

British Prime Minister Theresa May hailed the "unprecedented series of expulsions" of Russian diplomats, which she said sent a strong message to Moscow that it could not ignore international law.

The Russian Embassy in the UK said Ms May had still not presented evidence that the country was responsible for the poisonings, adding that "no-one in the wider world would take British words for granted".

It also responded to claims by officials that more than 20 different stories had come out of Moscow since the attack to "try and confuse the picture".

A statement posted on its website read: "This only confirms the openness of the Russian society and the independence of Russian media, which Prime Minister May wrongly confuses with the Russian state.

"Given the lack of official information, every Russian, just like every Briton, is entitled to their own version of events.

"Let's also not forget that at least five different versions of the poisoning have been 'leaked' by the police to British media: the Skripals were either poisoned in a pub, or in a restaurant, or in their car, or by putting the chemical into Ms Skripal's suitcase, or by smearing their door handle.

"To see Russia being accused of spreading false rumours in this context is rather surprising."

On Wednesday, Ireland became the 24th country to join the the UK in diplomatic action against the Kremlin.

With Downing Street saying that more than 115 Russian diplomats had been ordered home by friends and allies, Dublin added one more to the list.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, hinted that the Kremlin would respond with tit-for-tat expulsions, saying Russia would proceed from the "principle of reciprocity".

Russia has already ordered 23 British diplomats to leave in response to the expulsion of a similar number of undeclared Russian intelligence officers from the UK.

PA

More on this topic

Chemical weapons watchdog adds Novichok to banned listChemical weapons watchdog adds Novichok to banned list

Russia ‘thought they would get away with’ Salisbury attack, says Jeremy HuntRussia ‘thought they would get away with’ Salisbury attack, says Jeremy Hunt

Novichok victim Charlie Rowley questions Russian ambassador over partner’s deathNovichok victim Charlie Rowley questions Russian ambassador over partner’s death

Novichok poisoning: Intelligence services probed 'unusual' activity at Russian embassy in LondonNovichok poisoning: Intelligence services probed 'unusual' activity at Russian embassy in London

More in this Section

Michael Bloomberg puts gun control at heart of White House bidMichael Bloomberg puts gun control at heart of White House bid

Labour accuses BBC of ‘biased’ election coverage in letter to director generalLabour accuses BBC of ‘biased’ election coverage in letter to director general

‘Mighty mice’ on board supply mission to space station‘Mighty mice’ on board supply mission to space station

Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco valued at 1.7 trillion dollars in IPOSaudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco valued at 1.7 trillion dollars in IPO


Lifestyle

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

For a magical mantelpiece makeover the natural way, foliage and garlands add showstopping sparkle to the scene, says Hannah Stephenson.Bring Christmas cheer indoors: Foliage and garlands add showstopping sparkle

More From The Irish Examiner