Russia has demanded the right to see Yulia Skripal, despite being accused of being behind the attack on her life.
- Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned along with her father with Russian nerve agent, doesn't want the help of the Russian government.
- In a statement, the 33-year-old rejected Russia's offers of assistance.
- She also distanced herself from her cousin Viktoria, who has spread conspiracies over the nerve agent attack.
Yulia Skripal has a message for the Russian government: I don't want your help.
Along with her father Sergei Skripal, the 33-year-old Russian national was poisoned with a potentially deadly Russian nerve agent in Salisbury, England, in March. While her father remains in the hospital, she has recently been discharged, and on Wednesday issued a statement via the Metropolitan Police with updates on her situation.
She is still "suffering with the effects of the nerve agent," she said, and now finds herself "in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago."
The Russian government, which British authorities have accused of being behind the attack, has cast aspersions about her conditions and demanded the right to see her. But in the statement, Skripal said she is not interested in accepting Russian offers of assistance.
"I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can," she said. "At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them."
Instead, she is availing herself of the services of British officers, "who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken."
Yulia Skripal also explicitly distanced herself from Viktoria Skripal, her cousin who has been widely quoted in the Russian press expressing doubts about Russia's involvement in the nerve agent attack and claiming Yulia is desperate to return home to Moscow.
"I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves," Yulia Skripal said in her statement. "I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's."
Russia has responded with skepticism with the message, suggesting that Yulia Skripal did not write it herself. "If everything mentioned there is true we cannot but congratulate our compatriot. However, with no possibility to verify it, the publication by the Metropolitan Police raises new questions rather than gives answers," the Russian embassy in the UK said in a statement.
"As before, we would like to make sure that the statement really belongs to Yulia. So far, we doubt it much. The text has been composed in a special way so as to support official statements made by British authorities and at the same time to exclude every possibility of Yulia’s contacts with the outer world – consuls, journalists and even relatives."
Here's the full statement from Yulia Skripal:
"I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately.
"I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.
"I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.
"I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.
"Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's.
"For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation."