The daughter of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal is getting better after spending three weeks in critical condition due to a nerve toxin attack at his home in England, the hospital where she is being treated said on Thursday.
After the first known use of a military-grade nerve agent on European soil since World War Two, Britain blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the attempted murder, and the West has expelled around 130 Russian diplomats.
Russia has denied using Novichok, a nerve agent first developed by the Soviet military, to attack Skripal. Moscow has said it suspects the British secret services are trying to frame Russia to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.
British counter-terrorism police said they now believe Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve toxin that had been left on the front door of their home in the genteel English cathedral city of Salisbury.
"I'm pleased to be able to report an improvement in the condition of Yulia Skripal," Christine Blanshard, Medical Director for Salisbury District Hospital, said in a statement.
"She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day," she said.
Her father remained in a critical but stable condition, the hospital said. Last week, a British judge said the Skripals might have suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the attack.
Police said on Thursday they had placed a cordon around a children's play area near the Skripal's modest house as a precaution.
Yulia and her 66-year-old father were found slumped on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury on March 4.
Britain has blamed the attempted murder on Russia, and expelled 23 Russians it said were spies working under diplomatic cover in retaliation.
Russia, which denies carrying out the attack, responded by throwing out 23 British diplomats. Moscow has since accused the British secret services of trying to frame Russia to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.