Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury more than two months ago, has been discharged from hospital, just in time for the Royal Wedding.
Mr Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in the southern English city of Salisbury after exposure to a military grade nerve agent, Novichok, developed by Russia.
Moscow has denied any involved in the poisoning attack released in an area where hundreds of people could have been exposed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was pleased Mr Skripal had been released from the hospital on Friday, more than 10 weeks after he and his daughter had been poisoned.
“God grant him good health,” the Russian president said, adding the Skripals would have been dead if the agent was ‘military grade’.
“If a military-grade poison had been used, the man would have died on the spot. Thank God he recovered and that he left [hospital].”
The 66-year-old’s release follows his daughter, Yulia’s discharge from the Salisbury District Hospital late last month.
Police have said they will not be providing any details of the Skripal’s security arrangements in the interests of their safety.
The hospital’s chief executive Cara Charles-Barks said the hospital would not provide detailed accounts of the treatment given to Mr Skripal, Yulia and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailedy who helped the Skripals, due to their right to patient confidentiality.
“However, treating people who are so acutely unwell, having been positioned by nerve agents, requires stabilising them, keeping them alive until their bodies could produce more enzymes to replace those that had been positioned,” Ms Charles Barks said.
At a press conference Russia’s ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko said Russia wanted to gain assurances the Skripals were still alive and “just to understand how they feel and for them to say personally what they want”.
“Nobody has seen their pictures, heard their voice and whether they are alive. It is fine for us if they say they do not want our services,” Mr Yakovenko said at his official residence in London.
Mr Yakovenko said the reputations of both the UK and Russia were at stake due to the British allegation that Moscow was responsible for the poisonings.
A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who called the Salisbury attack a “reckless and despicable act”, has welcomed the news of Mr Skripal’s discharge.