The health of the daughter of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who was earlier poisoned in a nerve agent attack at his Salisbury home, is stable and showing rapid improvements, the hospital treating her said on Thursday.
“I’m pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal. She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours,” CNN News quoted Dr Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital as saying in a statement.
According to the British government, Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter were on March 4 exposed to a military-grade nerve agent. The father-daughter duo has since then been hospitalised in a critical condition.
The former Russian spy, 66, remains in a “critical but stable condition” but Yulia is “improving rapidly”, the statement said.
The update on Yulia’s condition comes a day after London’s Metropolitan Police said Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent at the former spy’s home as police have identified the highest concentration of the nerve agent to date on the property’s front door.
According to CNN, detectives will investigate around Sergei Skripal’s Salisbury home for the coming weeks and possibly months. Yulia was visiting her father at the time they were poisoned.
The United Kingdom has reacted strongly to the incident and expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the attack blamed on Moscow. Russia has denied its involvement and suggested the UK was behind the poisoning, which UK officials believe was an exposure to a Soviet-era nerve agent known as Novichok.
More than 20 countries, including the US, Canada and 18 European Union (EU) members, have joined the UK in expelling more than 100 Russian diplomats.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday said Moscow welcomed reports that Austria — which has not ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats – had offered to mediate between the two countries in the case.
Thomas Schnoll, the spokesman for Austria Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, told CNN that Austria condemned the Skripal poisoning but wanted to keep channels of communication with Russia open. “We see Austria as a bridge builder between the West and the East.”