29 Jan 2019 09:09

Sergei Skripal's niece to demand Yulia Skripal, a Russian citizen, be declared missing - newspaper

MOSCOW. Jan 29 (Interfax) - Viktoria Skripal, the niece of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, will demand that Russian law enforcement agencies declare his daughter Yulia Skripal, who is a Russian citizen, a missing person, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Tuesday.

"In February it will have been a year since I last heard Yulia's voice. At the moment no one knows where she is and in what situation she is now. I am now going to collect all necessary documents in order to go to Russian law enforcement agencies next month in regard to Yulia's disappearance. I will take steps to have her declared a missing person and also to get our structures to start investigating her disappearance. Yulia is a citizen of the Russian Federation, and it is unacceptable that even Russian diplomats didn't have access to her," Viktoria Skripal told the newspaper.

According to Izvestia, Viktoria Skripal also thinks that London is using Yulia as a hostage in order to advance its own interests.

The "poisoning" of Sergei Skripal and his daughter was required in order to put a further strain on relations with Russia, she said. Therefore, Viktoria said, it is not ruled out that the West, including the United Kingdom itself, could have staged the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia using a military-grade nerve agent in order to impose further anti-Russian sanctions and destabilize the international situation, according to the newspaper.

In early March 2018, a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia were found in critical condition in the British city of Salisbury. British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament that the Skripals had been poisoned with the nerve agent novichok (A-234) developed in Russia. Moscow has dismissed the accusations, saying that Russia finished disposing of its chemical weapons in 2017 under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.