Russian spy poisoning: Yulia Skripal hopes to return to Russia

Russia has been accused by Britain of being behind the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

Russia has been accused by Britain of being behind the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia

Yulia, the daughter of former double agent Sergei Skripal, said the poisoning was an "assassination attempt" but did not implicate the Russian government.

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The Kremlin said on Thursday it was skeptical about Yulia Skripal's first media appearance since she and her father Sergei were poisoned by a nerve agent in England, saying it was unclear if she had been talking of her own free will.

"It's still hard for me to come to terms with the thought that we came under such an attack", she said, adding she was in a coma for 20 days.

The daughter of an ex-double agent who survived a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom earlier this year says she and her father are "lucky" to have survived the assassination attempt and that she hopes to return eventually to her home in Russian Federation.

Ms Skripal spent six weeks in Salisbury District Hospital, and was discharged after doctors there said she had responded "exceptionally well" to treatment. We are so lucky to both have survived this attempted assassination.

She supplied a statement that she said she had written herself in Russian and English. She has refused to speak with Russian officials. "I don't want to describe the details, but the physical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing". "The text is learned by heart - I mean she doesn't speak emotionally, she says it very quickly", Viktoria Skripal said. Both have been taken to an undisclosed location for their protection.

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"I'm grateful for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy, but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services", she said.

"We have no grounds to trust this and to believe in it", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call on Thursday when asked about Yulia Skripal's statement.

Britain says the Russian state poisoned the Skripals with a Soviet-designed nerve agent dubbed Novichok that likely was smeared on the door handle of Sergei Skripal's suburban house.

Sergei Skripal moved to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy exchange after being imprisoned in Russia for selling secrets to British intelligence while he was working for the GRU, Russia's foreign military intelligence agency.

"Also, I want to reiterate what I said in my earlier statement that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves".

Ms Skripal had a scar on her neck consistent with having undergone a tracheostomy - the insertion of a tube in the windpipe to allow breathing. The video itself and the wording of the written statements, however, raised concerns with Russian diplomats, who urged London once again to allow consular access to Yulia "in order to make sure that she is not held against her own will and is not speaking under pressure".

President Vladimir Putin, himself a former KGB spy, said earlier this month that Skripal would have been dead if he was attacked with a weapons grade agent.

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