LONDON/MOSCOW • Ms Yulia Skripal, the daughter of a former Russian double agent, made her first public comment yesterday since being poisoned in Britain last month along with her father, saying the "entire episode is somewhat disorientating".
Ms Skripal and her father Sergei were found slumped on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4 in a nerve agent attack that the British government has blamed on Russia, although Moscow denies any involvement.
"I woke up over a week ago and am glad to say my strength is growing daily. I am grateful for the interest in me and for the many messages of goodwill I have received," Ms Skripal, 33, said in a statement issued by the London police.
"I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you'll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence."
Ms Skripal said she wanted to thank the hospital staff treating her and the people who came to her help when "when my father and I were incapacitated".
The attack left the Skripals in a critical condition, but on March 29 the hospital where they are being treated said Ms Skripal was getting better. Hospital bosses said her father was still in a critical but stable condition in an intensive care unit.
Earlier yesterday, Russian state TV and Interfax reported that Ms Skripal had phoned her cousin in Russia, Ms Viktoria Skripal, saying she and her father were both recovering and that she expected to leave the hospital soon.
"Everything is fine, everything is fixable, everyone is getting better, everyone is alive," they quoted her as saying in the call.
When asked about her father's health, Ms Yulia Skripal was cited by them as saying: "Everything is fine, he is resting right now, sleeping. Everyone's health is fine, nobody has any problems that can't be put right. I will soon be discharging myself (from hospital)."
Russian state TV said it could not vouch for the authenticity of the quotes.
Ms Viktoria Skripal, Mr Skripal's niece, has said she plans to travel to England and try to bring Ms Yulia Skripal back to Russia.