Ex-Spy Sergei Skripal Regains Consciousness, Ability to Talk

Sergei Skripal's cat and guinea pigs found dead in his Salisbury house

Russia's embassy in London has requested a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to discuss the attempted murder of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were admitted to a hospital after being found unconscious in the southern English city of Salisbury.

It is the first known offensive use of a nerve agent on European soil since World War Two.

Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director at Salisbury District Hospital, said: "Following intense media coverage yesterday, I would like to take the opportunity to update you on the condition of the two remaining patients being treated at Salisbury District Hospital". British authorities blame Russian Federation for what they say was a military-grade Soviet-made nerve agent poisoning. What we also know, however, is that with time the body clears the nerve agent away.

Britain blames Russian Federation for the poisoning of the Skripals - a charge the Kremlin furiously denies.

According to a report, Britain would want to ensure their safety by resettling them in one of the so-called "five eyes" countries.

Doctors had initially feared that the Skripals might have suffered permanent brain damage from the attack, leaving both with compromised mental capacity, and an unclear effect on their long-term health.

More news: US, China stay guarded on talks amid trade war fears

She said it was hard to discern why Yulia Skripal recovered faster than her father. Sergei is recovering well and out of danger but the pets have not been the lucky ones. He is responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition.

Russian Federation has appealed to the United Kingdom to issue visas to relatives of the Skripals so they can visit them in hospital.

Russia's United Nations ambassador Vasily Nebenzia warned Britain that it was "playing with fire" and claimed that Russian Federation was the victim of a hasty, sloppy and ill-intentioned defamation campaign by London and its allies. If they came into contact with the agent at their doorstep - as British police said - how did they have the ability to first go to a pub and a restaurant before they succumbed? "We have received a request", a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said. So they reduced its toxicity and used it in a gel form rather than as a gas - had the Skripals inhaled the nerve agent they would have died very quickly.

In a separate announcement, the United States imposed major sanctions on Friday against 24 Russians in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for what it called a range of "malign activity", including alleged meddling in the 2016 US election. Despite being the chief suspect, Russian Federation had sought to become part of a joint investigation into the attack with the UK.

The overture comes days after Russian Federation unleashed a blistering war of words against Britain at the UN Security Council over the poisoning, warning it was "playing with fire" and would "be sorry".

Sergei Skripal was a double agent who sold secrets to Britain.

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