LONDON (AP) — The international chemical watchdog is preparing to release its report on the nerve agent used to poison a former spy and his daughter in southwestern England as Russia continues to deny suggestions that it was behind the attack.
Britain’s Foreign Office said it has asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to publish a summary of its findings at midday Thursday.
Britain has blamed Russia for the March 4 poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union. Russia denies any involvement, saying Britain hasn’t provided evidence to support its assertion.
The findings come after Yulia Skripal on Wednesday rejected Russian Embassy assistance as she recovers at an undisclosed location. Yulia, 33, was released from the hospital earlier this week, but her father is recovering more slowly.
“I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do,” Yulia Skripal said in a statement released by London’s Metropolitan Police. “Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves.”
The comment came after Yulia’s cousin Viktoria gave a series of interviews about a telephone conversation between the two, leading the British government to claim that Russia was using Viktoria Skripal as a “pawn” in the dispute between the two sides.
Russia’s Embassy in London questioned the authenticity of Yulia’s statement, saying it was crafted to support Britain’s version of events and increases suspicions that the young woman is being held against her will.
British authorities “must urgently provide tangible evidence that Yulia is alright and not deprived of her freedom,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The text has been composed in a special way so as to support official statements made by British authorities and at the same time to exclude every possibility of Yulia’s contacts with the outer world — consuls, journalists and even relatives,” the embassy said. “The document only strengthens suspicions that we are dealing with a forcible isolation of the Russian citizen.”