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15 May, 2018 13:08

Sergei Skripal’s niece again denied visa by Britain to visit relatives amid abduction fears

Sergei Skripal’s niece again denied visa by Britain to visit relatives amid abduction fears

The niece of ex-spy Sergei Skripal has had her visa request to Britain refused for a second time. The Russian national was hoping to visit her relatives, Sergei and Yulia Skripal both of whom were poisoned with a nerve agent.

Responding to the denial, a Home Office spokesperson said: “We have refused a visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that she did not meet the requirements of the immigration rules.”

Viktoria Skripal had previously attempted to see her family in early April, but a visa request was also refused then. At that time the Metropolitan Police issued a ‘statement issued on behalf of Yulia Skripal’ which read: “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father's.”

While Sergei, now in an improving condition, remains at Salisbury District Hospital, his daughter resides in an undisclosed location after being discharged from the facility last month. Russian officials have made repeated requests to see Yulia, a Russian citizen, but have been denied - leading to accusations of abduction.

Russia’s Foreign Office spokesperson, Maria Zakharova told Sky News: "We just want to be sure that Yulia Skripal is actually better, that this is for real. We have zero information from officials in London about what is going on with her.

"We have suspicions that she's been abducted, held against her will."

London has accused Moscow of culpability over the poisoning of the Skripals, a charge the Kremlin has consistently denied.

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