Russia has hit out at Britain for continuing to block physical access to nerve agent victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The country’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, repeated his claim that Britain had “abducted” the pair as they recovered from the novichok poison attack in Salisbury.

Mr Yakovenko said relations between Russia and the UK were “really very low” after his country was blamed for the poisoning and said talks had not been constructive.

He said that officials responded to his request to meet the Skripals by saying “we are not ready to provide this sort of contact”.

At a news conference in London on Thursday he said he was concerned for the health of the Russian citizens.

He said: “Two months has passed since the time when the poisoning happened in Salisbury.

“To this day we haven’t seen them, we have no information about their condition, we don’t know what they are doing, what is their health, nobody saw their pictures, nobody talked to them… we have no information and we are really disappointed about that.”

In statements released on their behalf by police, the Skripals have said they do not want contact with Russian officials but Mr Yakovenko said it was his desire to hear this from them “physically”.

He added: “We have every kind of feeling to think that these two people were abducted.”

A small amount of novichok is thought to have been used in liquid form to target former Russian agent Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33.

The attack in March sparked a wave of diplomatic expulsions by Britain and its allies, and retaliatory ones by Russia.

Mr Skripal and his daughter have defied medical odds – he is no longer in a critical condition and she has been discharged from hospital.

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