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  1. ITV Report

Yulia Skripal 'plans to return' to Russia after Salisbury poisoning which left her 'lucky to be alive'

Yulia Skripal, the daughter of Russian spy Sergei Skripal, has said she wants to return to her country “in the longer term”, despite being poisoned with a nerve agent.

Police were called by members of the public on March 4 after Mr Skripal, 66, and 33-year-old Yulia, were spotted slumped on a bench near the Maltings shopping centre.

In a statement to Reuters, she said: “I came to the UK on the 3rd of March to visit my father, something I have done regularly in the past.

“After 20 days in a coma, I woke to the news that we had both been poisoned.

“I still find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that both of us were attacked. We are so lucky to have both survived this attempted assassination. Our recovery has been slow and extremely painful.

“The fact that a nerve agent was used to do this is shocking. I don’t want to describe the details but the clinical treatment was invasive, painful and depressing.

“I am grateful to all of the wonderful, kind staff at Salisbury hospital, a place I have become all too familiar with. I also think fondly of those who helped us on the street on the day of the attack.

She says she does not want to avail herself of Russia's services. Credit: PA

“I was discharged from hospital on the 9th of April and continue to progress with treatment but my life has been turned upside down as I try to come to terms with the devastating changes thrust upon me both physically and emotionally.

“I take one day at a time and want to help care for my Dad till his full recovery. In the longer term I hope to return home to my country.

“I wish to address a couple of issues directly and have chosen to interrupt my rehabilitation to make this short statement. I ask that everyone respects the privacy of me and my father. We need time to recover and come to terms with everything that has happened.

“I’m grateful for the offers of assistance from the Russian Embassy but at the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services.

“Also, I want to reiterate what I said in my earlier statement that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves.”

Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia. Credit: PA

Moscow has denied being responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals but the incident has plunged diplomatic relations between Russia and the West into the deep freeze.

Despite the denials the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats, with more than 25 countries following suit in a show of solidarity against Moscow.

In tit-for-tat fashion Russia declared 23 British diplomats persona non-grata, and responded to US measures by expelling 60 of their diplomats and closing a consulate in St Petersburg.