Russia demands US to disclose information on ‘biolabs’ in Ukraine

Moscow:┬áThe Russian Foreign Ministry has asked Washington to provide all information on the activities of alleged “US-linked biological laboratories” in Ukraine.

“The nervous and unjustified reaction of the United States to Moscow’s concerns only confirms the extremely dangerous and illegal activities carried out in these facilities,” the ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing.

“We can see the stubborn silence, the reluctance to talk about the issue on international platforms, the concealment of facts, and the destruction of evidence,” she was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

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Zakharova noted that these laboratories in Ukraine have worked directly “in conjunction with the Pentagon.”

Due to the absence of a verification mechanism under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), it is impossible to monitor the degree to which these laboratories are involved with US programs, she said.

Washington has been opposing a verification mechanism since 2001, the diplomat stressed.

“This suggests that the Americans are not just carrying out prohibited activities, but also blocking all possibilities for specialized international institutions to verify their prohibited activities in the field of biological weapons,” she said.

Moscow is proposing to resume work on a legally binding protocol on an effective verification mechanism within the BTWC, Zakharova said.

Last week, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland testified before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ukraine, admitting “Ukraine has biological research facilities.”

“We are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” she said.

On March 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video post on his facebook account that “no chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction were developed on my land.”

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