24 Oct 2018 11:26

Skripal's niece unable to contact family members in UK, fears for her life - newspaper

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) - Viktoria Skripal, the niece of former GRU officer and British security service agent Sergei Skripal, has been unable to contact family members staying in the UK and does not feel safe after the Salisbury incident, the newspaper Izvestia said on Wednesday.

"Viktoria Skripal has told Izvestia she does not feel secure after the UK 'has blown the Salisbury incident out of proportion.' She also said she was unable to contact the affected members of her family since London accused Russian citizens Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov of allegedly poisoning the former agent of British security services," Izvestia said.

"They [Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia] did not call us, and we were unable to contact them, too. Of course, I fear for my life and the life of my family. There is no knowing what is in somebody's head and if someone may be displeased with my position. But you should understand that fanatics often do not act alone. In many cases somebody guides their actions, it could be the British security services," Viktoria Skripal said.

She added she "had no intention to change her name or take any other steps."

"Although I am not a direct relative of Sergei Skripal, I am proud of my father's name. It is just that I have been involved in this situation," she said.

Viktoria Skripal added that she did not believe Russia was behind the Skripal poisoning incident because the UK had never given any proof, Izvestia said.

"The West likes to say that Moscow has allegedly poisoned the Skripals. But what about the inquiry and proof? My first theory was a household accident, people poisoned with food. But no one believed me. There came Novichok, quite a strange war-grade agent which is very strong but for some reason selective. It is some kind of a paradox. Why did not it poison Petrov and Boshirov who allegedly used it in many ways?" Viktoria Skripal wondered.

London blamed Russian citizens Petrov and Boshirov, whom it called GRU agents, for poisoning the Skripals. The media said later that Boshirov was actually Hero of Russia Anatoly Chepiga.