Russia takes protest of blame to the UN


Associated Press

LONDON

In her first public comment since she and her father were poisoned by a nerve agent in England, the daughter of a Russian ex-spy said Thursday from a hospital that she’s recovering quickly, but the whole ordeal has been “somewhat disorientating.”

Yulia Skripal, 33, said in a statement released by British police that her “strength is growing daily” and she expressed gratitude to those who came to her aid when she and her father were found unconscious on a bench a month ago.

“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.

The hospital in the English city of Salisbury confirmed that Yulia’s health has improved, while her 66-year-old father, Sergei Skripal, remains in critical condition.

The British government has alleged the pair were poisoned with a chemical weapon developed by the Soviet Union in a plot likely directed by Moscow to kill the elder Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer convicted of spying for Britain.

The March 4 poisonings of the father and daughter have caused an international furor. At a United Nations Security Council meeting Thursday called by Russia, Russia’s U.N. ambassador claimed that Russia was the victim of a hasty, sloppy and ill-intentioned defamation campaign by Britain and its allies.

Moscow assumes “with a high degree of probability” that the intelligence services of other countries are likely responsible for the incident, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

Nebenzia did not name the intelligence services that Russia suspects, but said their goal is to accuse Moscow of using “a horrible, inhumane weapon, of concealing the arsenal of this substance,” of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, and putting in question Russia’s “role not only in finding a solution in Syria, but anywhere else.”

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