UK hiding something, says Skripal’s niece after visa denied

“UK authorities must have something to hide to deny me an entry visa,” said niece of poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal who is rapidly recovering in a hospital in England.

London must explain why it denied Viktoria Skripal the visa, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Rossiya 1 TV channel on Friday. Zakharova dismissed the insinuations in the UK media that Viktoria is the Kremlin’s “pawn.”

Responding to the news that her visa application has been rejected, Viktoria told Sky News this was expected and it shows the British must have something to hide.

A British Home Office (pictured) spokesperson said Viktoria’s application did not comply with the immigration rules adding that she is free to make a fresh application for the visa.

Viktoria also told Sky News she believes Yulia and her father Sergei “ate something wrong” at a pub they visited before collapsing on a public bench in Salisbury. Neither Yulia nor her father Sergei believed they would be attacked, Viktoria said.

If it is not the pub food, Yulia  might have brought something with her on the plane from someone she knew.

Viktoria said she is not a fortune-teller to say who was behind the attack on her relatives.

Participating in Rossiya-1’s ‘60 minutes’ show on Wednesday evening, Viktoria said she wants to bring back Yulia and Sergie.

But hours later while talking to Sky News, her confidence of bringing back her relatives seemed to be ebbing away.

What does Sergie have in Russia, she asked. All his daughter has is a small two-room apartment in Moscow.

Asked whether she believed she would ever see her cousin Yulia again, Viktoria said all hope is not lost.

On Friday, Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director at Salisbury District Hospital, announced that Sergei is no longer in a critical condition and is responding well to treatment and improving rapidly.

Yulia made her first statement after the Salisbury attack on Thursday saying her strength is growing daily.