Moscow, Apr 5 (AFP) Russian state television today aired what it said was a phone conversation between a relative and Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned in Britain last month along with her father, a former spy.

Presenters on Rossiya 1 television’s “60 Minutes” talk show said they had obtained the recording from Yulia’s cousin Viktoria, but added that they could not confirm its authenticity.

In the call, a woman introducing herself as Yulia Skripal says she is expecting to be discharged from hospital soon and that her father Sergei is “fine”.

“It is Yulia Skripal,” the woman says in Russian at the start of the brief chat.

“Everything is fine (with my father). He is resting now, he is sleeping. Everyone’s health is fine. There is nothing that is irreversible. That’s it, I’ll be discharged soon. Everything is OK,” she adds.

The presumed cousin, who lives in Russia, responds saying she was hoping to come to the UK next week.

“Vika, nobody will give you a visa,” the voice allegedly belonging to Yulia replies.

The English hospital where the pair are being treated after a nerve agent attack on March 4 said last week that Yulia’s health was “improving rapidly”.

But her 66-year-old father remained in a critical condition, according to the latest update.

The incident has triggered a major diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West.

London has blamed Moscow for the poisoning, which was carried out with what it says was a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union.

Russia has angrily rejected the allegations. (AFP) CPS 04051809

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.