Yulia Skripal made her first public comment on Thursday since being poisoned in Britain last month along with her ex-Russian agent father Sergei, saying the “entire episode is somewhat disorientating”.
The Skripals were found slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4 in a nerve agent attack that the British government has blamed on Russia, although Moscow denies any involvement.
“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill that I have received,” Yulia Skripal, 33, said in a statement issued by London police.
“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence.”
She said she wanted to thank the hospital staff treating her and the people who came to her help when “when my father and I were incapacitated”.
“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily"
The attack left the Skripals in a critical condition, but on March 29 the hospital where they are being treated said Yulia was getting better. Hospital bosses said her father was still in a critical but stable condition in an intensive care unit.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian state TV and Interfax reported that Yulia had phoned her cousin Viktoria Skripal in Russia, saying she and her father were both recovering and that she expected to leave hospital soon. “Everything is fine, everything is fixable, everyone is getting better, everyone is alive,” they quoted her as saying in the call.
When asked about her father’s health, Yulia was cited by them as saying: “Everything is fine, he is resting right now, sleeping. Everyone’s health is fine, nobody has any problems that can’t be put right. I will soon be discharging myself (from hospital).”
Russian state TV said it could not vouch for the authenticity of the quotes.
Viktoria Skripal, Sergei’s niece, has said she plans to travel to England and try to bring Yulia back to Russia.