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Ex-spy Sergei Skripal out of critical condition: hospital

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo, taken on August 9, 2006, former Russian military intelligence colonel Sergei Skripal attends a hearing at the Moscow District Military Court in Moscow. (Photo by AFP)

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, who the UK says was probably poisoned by Russians, has come out of critical care.

Sergei is no longer in critical condition, the hospital treating him said in a statement on Friday.

"He is responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition," said Christine Blanshard, Medical Director at Salisbury District Hospital.

His daughter, Yulia, 33, who along with her father was poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury, came out of critical care eight days ago.

Both people had been unconscious since the incident took place in the quiet English town of Salisbury on March 4.

On Thursday, Yulia thanked hospital staff and well-wishers, saying her strength was "growing daily". However, she said that she felt she needed to recover and wanted to be left alone for the time being. "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."

Yulia Skripal, daughter to former Russian spy Sergei Skripal who the UK says was probably poisoned by Russians.

The Skripals’ case, for which British authorities say Moscow is to blame, has triggered a major response by Western countries, which in protest to the incident have taken unified action and collectively ordered expulsion of scores of Russian diplomats from respective embassies.

Russia, which denies any involvement in the incident, took reciprocal measures against states that make "unfriendly" decisions ejecting foreign diplomats from Moscow. Also, the Kremlin urged these states to review the UK's evidence pertaining to the case before taking any steps against Russia.

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