“We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripal on the grounds that her application did not comply with the Immigration Rules.”
Home Office spokesman
Viktoria Skripal, the niece of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal poisoned in Salisbury, has been denied a visa to come to the UK. MI6 and the CIA have been discussing the possibility of providing the Sergei and Yulia Skripal with new identities and relocating them to the US. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
Viktoria Skripal wanted to travel to Britain in order to bring her cousin Yulia back to Russia.
In a phone call, Yulia had previously warned her that she would not be issued a visa to visit the UK. How on earth did she know?
Sergei and Yulia Skripal are both recovering surprisingly well from what has been described as very powerful military-grade nerve agent named Novichok. They are no longer in critical condition.
Why was the VISA denied?
British media report that the Home Office — who control visas application — denied the visa because Viktoria did not have enough money in her bank account.
If this is true then it is absolutely absurd. The bank account requirement is to stop immigrants who would remain in the UK and who would become a demand on government benefits. This is clearly not possible in this case.
New identities with CIA help
This morning (April 8 2018), BBC Radio 4 reported that MI6 and the CIA have been discussing the possibility of providing Sergei and Yulia Skripal with new identities and relocating them to the US.
“They will be offered new identities,” a senior Whitehall figure said.
Security sources said Britain would want to ensure their safety by relocating them with one of the “five eyes” countries, the intelligence-sharing partnership that also includes America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“The obvious place to resettle them is in America, because they’re less likely to be killed there and it’s easier to protect them there under a new identity,” an intelligence source familiar with the negotiations added.
“There’s a preference for them to be resettled in a five-eyes nation because their case would have huge security implications.” [The Sunday Times]
Let us be clear for a moment. This story is absurd. If there had been a serious plan to relocate the Skripals under new identities in the US, the first thing to do was to announce their death. Do you remember Colonel Alex Poteyev?
Now it is a bit late for that. Given that half the world has now seen multiple photos of the Skripals (and their close relative Viktoria), it would be very difficult to give them new identities.
So what is going on? I suspect that the story about relocation to the US is a cover story in case it becomes necessary to “eliminate” the Skripals if, for example, they refuse to go along with the UK’s story or if they become “too difficult” to manage.
As a reader of this blog commented:
“The problem with new identities is that they can be “disappeared” and never found again. Nice plan. Now when the Skripals leave hospital and are never seen again, who will know whether or not they stayed alive afterwards?”
Press Release from the Russian Embassy
On April 8 2018, the Russian Embassy issued the following press release on the ‘Note Verbale’ of the Foreign Office regarding the denial of the British visa to Ms Viktoria Skripal.
“On Saturday evening, the Embassy received a Note Verbale from the Foreign Office, in which it informed that Ms Viktoria Skripal had applied for visa at the British Embassy in Moscow and had been informed of the outcome.
It seems that this Note is a formality and does not answer the questions posed by our Embassy.
This cannot but cause regret.
As such this refusal to grant a visa to Ms Viktoria Skripal to visit her cousin and uncle is disappointing.
From our conversations with her, we gather that she very much hoped to support her family members in a difficult moment.
Such a decision of the British authorities, as we have already said, is politically motivated, and raises a lot of questions about its reasoning.
More and more questions to the British side arise.”
Russian TV Airs Yulia Skripal Phone Call With A Relative
The Skripal Case — Russian Spy’s Niece Denied Visa to Visit Her Relatives