Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal 'no longer critical' after poisoning

Russian TV airs phone call'from Yulia Skripal in hospital

Yulia Skripal and her cousin Viktoria Skripal

The main entrance to the Salisbury District Hospital in southern England, seen early last month after Sergei and Yulia Skripal were admitted after their poisoning. The row has inflamed tensions and led to the expulsions of diplomats from a number of countries.

"As Yulia herself says, her strength is growing daily and she can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital", Blanshard said Friday.

The former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, is conscious and can speak, according to the Sky News television channel.

"They (the British) must have something to hide".

Russia's Foreign Ministry was quick to react, questioning the decision.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied Moscow's involvement in the attack, suggesting that Britain had carried it out to stoke anti-Russian hysteria. Britain's foreign office welcomed the improvement in the Skripals but said they were "likely to have ongoing medical needs".

Its statement added: "This was attempted murder using an illegal chemical weapon that we know Russian Federation possesses".

Yulia and Sergei Skripal were found slumped on a bench at an outdoor shopping precinct in the English city on March 4. Referring to Yulia, he said, "She might talk and converse, but what we don't know is if she will go back to where she was before the event, not just about cognition, but there's other aspects that could be affected, like mobility, problems with mental state, anxiety, depression, there are so many unknowns".

Israeli forces using excessive force against Palestinians
They were wounded after the Israeli forces fired at them who had gathered near the Israeli border in the besieged Gaza Strip. A Palestinian journalist shot by Israeli forces during a mass demonstration along the Gaza border has died of his wounds.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning, the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two. The United Kingdom accused Russian Federation of orchestrating the attack with a weapons-grade nerve agent A234, allegedly linked to the Soviet-made Novichok group. Investigators later found that their front door showed the highest concentration of the nerve agent used against them. "We have told our British colleagues that 'you're playing with fire and you'll be sorry'".

"We will not trust in them, we would like to check them but they are not letting us do that".

It comes after Russian TV aired a recording of an alleged phone conversation between Viktoria and Yulia on Thursday.

"This laboratory was never part of the scope of our work", Mikhail Babich, the Kremlin's envoy in the Volga region and former chairman of the state commission for chemical disarmament, told Interfax news agency.

"Now, after failing in their attempts in the United Nations and worldwide chemical weapons watchdog this week and with the victims' condition improving, they seem to be pursuing a different diversionary tactic".

He said there used to be another such facility in the surrounding Saratov region but it was not located in Shikhany. What we also know, however, is that with time the body clears the nerve agent away.

Further, the Russian delegate said that his country does not have a copyright on Novichok and that line of toxic substances has been developed in many countries, including the United States and the UK.

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