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6 Apr, 2018 16:43

Skripal relative denied visa to visit UK and return poisoned relatives to Russia

Skripal relative denied visa to visit UK and return poisoned relatives to Russia

Sergei Skripal’s niece has been denied a visa to enter the UK after claiming she would come and take her relatives back to Russia.

Viktoria Skripal had planned to travel to Britain after her uncle Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were exposed to a chemical agent in Salisbury on March 4.

The UK Home Office said on Friday that Viktoria is not being granted a visa to come to the UK. “We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that her application did not comply with the Immigration Rules,” a Home Office spokesman said.

Viktoria was behind the first public statements from either of the Skripals and the world’s media this week when she released a recording of a phone call with her cousin Yulia.

In the clip, the two discussed Viktoria getting a visa. Yulia flatly told her she would not be granted one.

“Vika, nobody will give you a visa,” Yulia said.

She said she and her father were fine and there were no life changing injuries. She gave little detail other than to say they would address one issue at a time.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakavenko said the embassy is currently getting its information from the mainstream media, after being locked out of Britain’s investigation. He says requests for access to the Skripals have been repeatedly denied.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, has demanded that London officially explain the grounds on which the visa was denied to Viktoria Skripal. "This is a complete and utter disgrace when a country, which is vocal about every aspect of Russian domestic politics, [and] our lives, [the UK] for some reason refuses to comment on the British visa issue in such extraordinary circumstances," Zakharova told Rossiya 24 channel.

The spokeswoman also rejected speculation in the media that the cousin was somehow influenced by the Russian authorities. "This is complete absurdity, but we've already heard hundreds of such absurd statements coming from Britain," she said.