Russia's Reaction On Ukrainian Biological Weapon -FM Spokeswoman

Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on military biological activity in Ukrainian biological laboratories

We confirm that, during the special military operation in Ukraine, the Kiev regime was found to have been concealing traces of a military biological programme implemented with funding from the United States Department of Defence.

Documentation on the urgent eradication of highly hazardous pathogens of plague, anthrax, rabbit fever, cholera and other lethal diseases on February 24 was received from employees of Ukrainian bio laboratories. This included an instruction from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the urgent eradication of stored reserves of highly hazardous pathogens sent to all bio laboratories. These materials can be found on the internet portal of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.

This documentation is now being thoroughly analysed by specialists of nuclear, biological an chemical protection troops. However, even at this point, we can conclude that components of biological weapons were being developed in Ukrainian laboratories in direct proximity to Russian territory. The urgent eradication of highly hazardous pathogens on February 24 was ordered to prevent exposing a violation of Article I of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) by Ukraine and the United States.

This information proves that the claims we have repeatedly made with regard to the military biological activity of the United States and their allies in the post-Soviet space within the framework of the BTWC were justified. We cannot rule out using the mechanisms in Articles V and VI of the BTWC, pursuant to which the member states shall consult with each other to resolve any issues regarding the purpose of the Convention or the execution of its provisions, and cooperate in any investigation of possible violations of the obligations under the BTWC.

Decisive actions to strengthen the BTWC regime are required to prevent any military biological activity carried out in violation of the BTWC. We call for the resumption of work on a legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, something the United States has been blocking since 2001. In this context, we call for the creation of an open-ended group as part of the BTWC, which is in the interests of the overwhelming majority of member states.

To strengthen the institutional foundation of the Convention we promote initiatives, which have wide international support, to create mobile medical and biological units within the framework of the BTWC (to render assistance if biological weapons are being used and to fight outbreaks of various origins) and to establish a Research Advisory Committee (to analyse scientific and technical achievements and to provide the states with appropriate recommendations).

In addition, we suggest including information on military biological activities carried out abroad in annual reports provided by the BTWC member states as part of confidence-building measures. Only comprehensive steps like these will make it possible to place the military biological activity of the United States and their allies in the post-Soviet space, as well as other regions of the world, under close international control and ensure the verifiable compliance of the BTWC member states with their obligations.

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