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24 Mar, 2018 16:10

Russian envoy thanks 1st responder to ‘reckless’ Skripal poisoning, assures him Moscow not involved

The Russian ambassador to the UK has sent a letter to the police officer who was poisoned in the Sergey Skripal incident. He thanked the officer for being the first to respond and assured him Moscow wasn’t behind the poisoning.

Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko told Nick Bailey that he was relieved to learn that the officer was feeling well enough to be discharged from hospital and reunited with his loved ones. “I wish you a full recovery and hope that you will be able to return to your normal life as soon as possible,” the letter reads.

Yakovenko also expressed “sincere gratitude” to Bailey for his bravery while “reacting to the assault on two Russian nationals, Sergey and Yulia Skripal… who I hope will get well soon too.”

As for Britain’s claims that Moscow was behind the poisoning of the former Russian-UK double agent, the Ambassador wrote “please be assured that Russia has nothing to do with this reckless incident and is ready to cooperate with the British authorities with regard to the investigation both bilaterally and through international organizations.”

Bailey was among the four officers, who reacted to the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal after they were discovered slumped on a bench in Salisbury on March 4; the policeman was hospitalized shortly after making contact with the victims.

The UK authorities said a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok was used in the attack on the pair.

This led to UK Prime Minister Theresa May naming Russia as the guilty party and imposing sanctions against the country. Moscow has denied any involvement and asked Britain for evidence of its complicity, a request that was rebuffed.

READ MORE: 'Don’t take the words of the British for granted' – Russia's UK envoy on Skripal case

Officer Bailey left hospital on Friday, describing his experience as “completely surreal” in a statement. He thanked the public for the support he received during treatment, but added that he wanted “people to focus on the investigation – not the police officer who was unfortunate enough to be caught up in it.” Meanwhile, Sergey and Yulia Skripal remain in a stable but critical condition.

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