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Niece of Russian nerve gas victim refused entry to UK

Viktoria Skripal was denied “on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules”.

Investigators work in the garden of Sergei Skripal's house in Salisbury, southern England, on March 22.
Investigators work in the garden of Sergei Skripal's house in Salisbury, southern England, on March 22.
Image: AFP/Getty Images

BRITISH AUTHORITIES HAVE rejected a visa application by the niece of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned with a nerve agent along with his daughter Yulia in an English city last month.

“We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules,” the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, said in a statement.

Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition and is “improving rapidly,” the hospital treating him.

It was the first official news on the condition of Sergei Skripal, 66, since he and his daughter Yulia were found poisoned on a bench on 4 March in Salisbury.

The affair has sparked a bitter diplomatic crisis between London and Moscow and prompted a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats between Russia and the West.

Skripal ”is responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition,” said Salisbury District Hospital director Christine Blanshard.

As for his daughter, “her strength is growing daily and she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital”, Blanshard added.

Britain blames Russia for the poisoning of the Skripals — a charge the Kremlin furiously denies.

The first public comments by Yulia Skripal since the poisoning emerged on Thursday.

“My strength is growing daily,” she was quoted as saying in comments released by the police.

© AFP 2018 

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