6 Apr 2018 22:23

Moscow urges London to explain situation surrounding visa for Victoria Skripal - Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged United Kingdom officials to explain what is happening about the issuing of a visa to Victoria Skripal, cousin of Yulia Skripal, who is undergoing treatment at a Salisbury hospital after being poisoned, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

London's refusal to comment on the situation is outrageous, Zakharova said on the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel on Friday.

"We are urging the United Kingdom to make an official statement and explain what is happening about a visa for Victoria Skripal. It is absolutely outrageous that we see that a country, which has something to say about any aspect of Russia's domestic policy, refuses for some reason to comment on the issuing of a British visa in such circumstances," she said.

Out of purely humanitarian considerations, UK officials "have to find the courage and speak officially at least on this aspect," Zakharova said.

"There is an emergency in which Russian citizens have found themselves in British territory. The matter concerns their lives. Nobody from Russia has any access to them. And we do not understand at the moment what is happening and whether a relative can have access to this family or not," Zakharova said.

"Certainly, each country is entitled to grant or not grant a visa - this is its sovereign right," she said.

"But considering that the United Kingdom has in fact accused the Russian Federation of assaulting the Skripals and the UK prime minister has repeatedly spoken on the matter at parliament, we believe Britain is certainly able to say something as to whether it will grant a visa to Victoria Skripal or not," she said.

UK media reported earlier on Friday with reference to an unnamed official from the UK Home Office that Victoria Skripal had been denied a UK visa.