Sergei Skripal no longer in critical condition

Skripal, 66, is "responding well to treatment" and is "improving rapidly", according to doctors at Salisbury District Hospital 

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in a critical condition after being poisoned by a nerve agent last March, police have said.

Skripal, 66, is "responding well to treatment" and is "improving rapidly", said Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director at the hospital.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in hospital for more than a month after being found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on 4 March.

They had been poisoned with a toxic nerve agent called Novichok.

On Thursday, Skripal revealed she "woke up over a week ago" and that her "strength is growing daily".

Blanshard said any speculation on when she might be well enough to leave hospital "will be just that - speculation".

The UK government claims Russia is behind the attack but Moscow has denied all involvement, calling the accusations "horrific and unsubstantiated".

Following the update on Skripal's condition, the Russian Embassy tweeted: "Good news!"

The incident has sparked an escalating diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West, with more than 20 countries expelling Russian envoys in solidarity with the UK.

On Thursday, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, told the UN Security Council that Britain was "playing with fire" and had invented a "fake story".

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