Sergei, Yulia Skripal to get new identities to live in the US, report says

A Russian ex-spy and his daughter, who nearly died last month after they were exposed to a rare nerve agent in the English city of Salisbury, will be offered new identities and the chance to be resettled in America, The Times of London reported Sunday.

An intelligence source told The Times that British officials wanted to relocate Sergei and Yulia Skripal to a "five eyes" country, a reference to the intelligence-sharing partnership between the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

"The obvious place to resettle them is in America," the source was quoted as saying, "because they’re less likely to be killed there and it’s easier to protect them there under a new identity."

The Skripals were hospitalized for weeks in critical condition after they were found unconscious on March 4. Hospital officials said the pair's conditions have improved rapidly in recent weeks and their lives no longer were in immediate danger. However, senior U.K. officials told The Times that father and daughter "would likely never be the same again" and could "require ongoing medical care."

Sergei Skripal is a former Russian intelligence officer who was convicted of spying for Britain before coming to the U.K. as part of a 2010 prisoner swap.

British authorities said Russia was behind the attack with a military-grade nerve agent that was first developed in the Soviet Union. More than 250 counterterrorism officers are working to trace suspects and determine how the poison was delivered. British authorities believe the nerve agent was applied to the door of Sergei Skripal's house.

Russia has denied responsibility for the attack, accusing London of spreading baseless smears and demanding that the U.K. share its evidence from the investigation.

Britain has given samples of the nerve agent used in Salisbury to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog that is expected to release its findings soon.

The poisoning case has triggered a diplomatic crisis between Moscow and the West. Britain and some two dozen other countries have expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats, and Russia has kicked out a similar number of envoys from those countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.