On Monday Reuters reported in Britain that Sergei Skripal, who is a former Russian spy, fell critically ill after being exposed to an unknown substance. Skripal was convicted by Russia of betraying its agents to British intelligence.
The British police reported that two people, who were a 66-year-old man & a 33-year-old woman, were been found unconscious on a bench inside of a shopping center on Sunday in the southern English city of Salisbury after exposure to the unknown substance.
British police have not released the names to the public of those who were being treated but two sources close to the investigation told Reuters in its report that the critically ill man was Skripal. It was unclear what the substance was, they said.
Wiltshire police’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said in a statement:
“This has not been declared as a counter-terrorism incident and we would urge people not to speculate.”
Relations between Britain and Russia have been tense since the murder of an ex-KGB agent, Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006, a killing which a British inquiry said was probably approved by President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in approving the killing.
Litvinenko was 43 years-old, and a outspoken critic of President Putin who fled Russia for Britain six years to the day before he was poisoned, died after drinking green tea laced with the rare and very potent radioactive isotope at London’s Millennium Hotel.