Thu | Jun 21, 2018

Yulia Skripal says recovery from poisoning 'slow, painful'

Published:Thursday | May 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Yulia Skripal during an interview in London, England yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned with her ex-spy father in a nerve agent attack, said yesterday her recovery has been "slow and painful" and that she hopes to return to her home in Russia someday.

In her first appearance on camera since the poisoning that sent UK-Russia tensions soaring, Skripal said she and her 66-year-old father, Sergei, were "lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination".

They spent weeks hospitalised in critical condition after they were found unconscious in the English city of Salisbury 90 miles (145 kilometres) southwest of London on March 4.

Britain blames Russia for poisoning the Skripals with a military-grade nerve agent a charge Russia vehemently denies. The incident has sparked a Cold War-style diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West, including the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from both sides.

Yulia Skripal's statement appeared designed in part to address claims from Moscow that Britain has effectively kidnapped the pair and prevented Russian officials from visiting them. But the Russian Embassy in London said it remained concerned that Skripal was being held against her will.

Yulia, 33, was discharged from the hospital in April, and her father, last week. Both have been taken to an undisclosed location for their protection.

She said she had arrived to visit her father in Salisbury the day before the attack.

"After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned," she said.

During their "slow and extremely painful" recovery, she has been struggling to come to terms with "the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally," she said.

"I don't want to describe the details, but the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing," she said.

"In the longer term, I hope to return home to my country" once she and her father have both recovered, she added.