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‘They’re still at Porton Down’: Skripal’s niece doesn’t trust reports of poisoned ex-spy & daughter moving to New Zealand

‘They’re still at Porton Down’: Skripal’s niece doesn’t trust reports of poisoned ex-spy & daughter moving to New Zealand
The Sunday Times reports that former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter have moved to New Zealand under new identities. However, his niece in Russia believes it is all a distraction and that they are still in the UK.

The whereabouts of Sergei and Yulia Skripal have remained unknown since they were discharged from hospital after surviving a poisoning by a toxic chemical, which the UK authorities branded Novichok, in Salisbury in March 2018.

An unnamed senior British government official has confirmed to the Sunday Times that the father and daughter at the heart of one of the biggest scandals between London and Moscow have spent more than a year in an MI6 safe house before being given new identities and moved to New Zealand so that they could start a new life there.

However, the ex-double agent’s niece, Viktoria Skripal, who lives in Russia, said that she didn’t trust the report at all.

“I know nothing about this. And I don’t believe it,” she insisted, recalling that it’s not the first time that the possibility of the Skripals moving to another country is mentioned.

I think they’re still at Porton Down. It’s cheaper for the UK authorities to keep them there than in New Zealand.

The report about their move to the other side of the world “is just a distraction,” she added. Viktoria also alleged that after the poisoning Sergei and Yulia are in need of special medical supervision, which can only be provided to them at Porton Down – one of the most secretive British military research facilities, located just outside Salisbury.

Moscow suggested that the chemical that almost killed the Skripals could’ve been leaked from that very laboratory. London has repeatedly stated that Russia was “highly likely” behind the attack on its former intelligence officer, who supplied secret data to the UK for years.

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The Russian side denies any involvement and insists that two years after the incident, Britain has yet to provide any convincing proof to back up its accusations, while refusing Russia’s offer of a joint investigation and denying the country’s diplomats access to the Skripals, who remain Russian citizens.

The UK authorities have also shown photos of two men in Salisbury who they said were agents of the GRU (Russian foreign intelligence agency). Moscow countered that the allegation does not match the facts and that London was trying to use the Skripal saga to justify placing more sanctions on Russia.

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