Sergei Skripal survival, says his niece
Sergei Skripal survival, says his niece

Sergei Skripal survival? The niece of poisoned spy Sergei Skripal has said her uncle and cousin have a slim chance of survival.

Viktoria Skripal says the prognosis for the former Russian double agent and his daughter Yulia “really isn’t good.”

The pair remain in a critical condition following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, Wiltshire on March 4.

She told the BBC: “”Out of 99% I have maybe 1% of hope. Whatever it was has given them a very small chance of survival.”

Ms Skripal also said that Sergei Skripal’s mother has not been informed about the Novichok attack.

She added: “The first priority was to protect our granny so that she wouldn’t hear or find out anything.”

It comes as countries across the world have joined the UK in diplomatic action against Russia, which has been blamed for the attack.

Theresa May said the “unprecedented series of expulsions” of Russian diplomats sent a strong message to Moscow that it could not ignore international law.

24 countries have taken diplomatic action against Russia so far.

The country retaliated, ordering 23 British diplomats to leave Moscow.

The Russian Embassy in the UK has argued that the Prime Minister has still not presented evidence that the country is responsible for the poisonings.

A statement on its website said: “This only confirms the openness of the Russian society and the independence of Russian media, which Prime Minister May wrongly confuses with the Russian state.

“Given the lack of official information, every Russian, just like every Briton, is entitled to their own version of events.

“Let’s also not forget that at least five different versions of the poisoning have been ‘leaked’ by the police to British media: the Skripals were either poisoned in a pub, or in a restaurant, or in their car, or by putting the chemical into Ms Skripal’s suitcase, or by smearing their door handle.

“To see Russia being accused of spreading false rumours in this context is rather surprising.”

Mr Skripal and his daughter ate garlic bread and risotto with a glass of white wine each at Zizzi in the town centre on March 4, according to reports. However, witnesses said the Russian was agitated and angry about the time it took for his meal to come.

Minutes after leaving the restaurant they were found slumped on a bench in the town centre, in a “catatonic” state.

Mr Skripal’s relatives told the BBC Russian Service that the former spy believed the Russia special services would come after him at any time.

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