MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. UK media reports about Sergei Skripal’s daughter Viktoria allegedly staying in touch with her friends in Russia look far-fetched, the Russian ex-spy’s niece Viktoria Skripal has told TASS.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday, citing UK security sources, that, contrary to earlier media reports, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are still staying on the territory of the United Kingdom after vanishing from the public eye in the wake of the Salisbury incident. The paper said the ex-spy and his daughter were allowed to communicate with their friends and relatives. According to the publication, Yulia maintains contact with her close friends in Russia, who do not reveal any information about her. Moreover, some of her British and Russian friends even visited her last summer.
Viktoria Skripal, however, questioned those reports, saying that the Skripals have not even tried to establish contact with Sergei Skripal’s mother, who is aged 91 and “is in a desperate need of such a conversation.”
“She [Yulia Skripal] reportedly contacts her friends in Moscow, who allegedly have Scotland Yard’s trust. Well, I know only one such person – her friend Gulnara. I have no information on whether she contacted her or not, I can’t be certain about that, but it seems strange that she talks to her, but cannot phone her 91-year-old grandmother,” Viktoria said.
Britain claims that former Russian military intelligence officer convicted in Russia for spying for the UK, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were affected by a nerve gas of the Novichok class in Salisbury, England, on March 4. The British government claimed that Russia was highly likely involved in this incident. Moscow strongly dismissed all speculations on that score, saying that neither the Soviet Union nor Russia had ever had programs for making such agents.
After completing their treatment in a Salisbury hospital, Sergei Skripal and his daughter have completely vanished from the public eye and their relatives in Russia, including Viktoria, could not establish any contact with them. According to media reports, they were under the MI-5 witness protection program. The media suggested that the Skripals will be secretly sent to another Anglo-Saxon country under false names.
The Russian embassy in London has repeatedly accused the UK authorities of violating the international law by refusing to provide consular access to the Skripals for Russian diplomats, who wanted to make sure that they were alive and not under pressure.
Article Sourced via TASS