Induced Coma Was Used to Manipulate Skripals' Health
© AP Photo / Misha Japaridze
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in British Salisbury. The UK government accused Moscow of poisoning the Skripals with a nerve agent before the official investigation was conducted. Russia denied all accusations. Both victims regained consciousness in April, but their fate is being kept secret by the UK.
Russian representatives to the OPCW have expressed their opinion that former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were put into a state of induced coma in order to manipulate their health. They also believe it was used to prevent the access of Russian experts to both victims.
"British medical workers, as we believe, have put Sergei and Yulia Skripal into an induced coma state deliberately, which gave them the opportunity to collect biological material and manipulate the state of their health, even without consulting with them," the statement by the Russian delegation to the OPCW said.
A special OPCW session devoted to the Salisbury incident assembled on April 18, where the UK presented its report on the case. The Russian representatives to the organization noted that the report was filled with phrases showing uncertainty, such as "highly likely," "no other explanation," "it is likely that."
"Neither the lab in Porton Down nor the OPCW report identified the lab or the country that produced the agent that was used in the attack, but it is highly likely that…" the Russian representatives summed up the British report.
Relations between the UK and Russia have severely deteriorated over the Salisbury incident in which former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were seriously injured. The UK has declared that the substance used in the attack is similar to the Novichok-class nerve agents developed in the Soviet Union.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of organizing the attack, prior to the completion of the ongoing investigation of the incident, and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure. A number of countries have supported the UK claims and subsequently expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats.
The Russian side has denied all the accusations and suggested participating jointly in the investigation, as well as demanded consular access to its citizens. However, both requests were ignored. Moscow has also expelled diplomats of those countries that joined the British punitive measure and ordered the British Council to halt its activities in Russia in response to London's move. First Yulia and then Sergei Skripal regained consciousness in April. The Russian embassy in the UK has sent multiple requests for access to Yulia in order to check if she needs anything, but the UK side claims she declined all requests. The Russian embassy remains skeptical about the British side's response and suggests Yulia could have been manipulated or threatened.
Later, information surfaced that Yulia had left the Salisbury hospital, where she underwent treatment, but no solid information as to her new location has been given. Several rumors have surfaced in Western media about her possible current location, including some that suggest she is being held at a military base in the UK.