Amid new claims from Moscow about the existence of a covert biological weapons program in Ukraine, the United Nations Director for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) told the Security Council on Friday that the UN is not aware of any such program. of this type and has neither the mandate nor the technical operational capacity to investigate it.
Thomas Markram thus repeated the message sent to that same body on two occasions in March by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu.
Markram added; “This is still the case today.”.
The Russian Federation, the United States, and Ukraine are all state parties to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling, and use of biological and toxin weapons.
Unsplash/Mick de Paola
Reactor 3 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
Channels to address the issue
Markram explained that the convention contains several measures that interested states can use to address concerns or suspicions about the activities of their peers.
For example, he said that, under Article V, the States parties can consult each other and cooperate to solve any problems through international procedureseven bilaterally. And he pointed out that one of those procedures is the calling of a consultative meeting. Furthermore, he indicated that other possibilities exist under Article VI.
“Therefore, I would encourage any state party that has compliance concerns to use the procedures available under the convention,” Markram said.
The senior official also made it clear that the Office for Disarmament Affairs is ready to support any procedure under the Convention that those States decide to use.
Suspected biosecurity threat to Eastern Europe
Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said his country called today’s third meeting on this issue because it has evidence that the US Department of Defense is secretly carrying out dangerous biological military projects on the western border. with your country.
“It is a real threat to the biosecurity of our country, of the region and, given the transboundary nature of these biothreats, to the entire world,” he said. However, he pointed out that as Markram confirmed, neither Ukraine nor the United States have included information about this threat in the reports required by the Convention, he said.
In his statement, he stressed that preventing such a dangerous activity is only possible through his country’s “special military operation.” He also drew attention to “Project 3007” in which Ukrainian specialists, under the supervision of American colleagues, collect water samples from the Dnipro, Danube and other waterways, looking for pathogens, such as typhoid, which are then sent to the United States.
The logical question is “why?” he said. One look at a map of Ukraine’s water sources is enough to understand that the results could be used to create a biological catastrophe in the Russian Federation, across the Azov and Black Seas, and in Eastern Europe, she added.
Later, he accused Ukraine of trying to spread dangerous bioaerosols throughout the Russian Federation, noting that it had recorded the entry of 50 drones in January equipped to carry out such an attack. And he added that the United States financed such activities through subcontractors.
He said that last 2020 another bio-incident was recorded in which “fake money” was used as a carrier of tuberculosis in Lugansk, endangering the children who found it.
“This money was infected with bioactive tuberculosis,” he said, calling it “a very worrying trend.” According to the Russian representative, other evidence held by his country implicates American scientists in conducting experiments on psychiatric patients at Kharkov hospital number three.
A protective cover was built over the Chornobyl nuclear power plant after the accident.
Fanciful claims, conspiracy theories
For his part, the deputy ambassador of the United States, Richard M. Mills, regretted that the director of disarmament of the United Nations had been asked to join what he considered a “truly ridiculous conversation.”
He then blamed Russia for once again using the Council as a platform to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories as it continues its brutal and inhumane attack on Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
“Russia repeatedly demeans the Council through these absurd meetings,” he said.
The endless claims of chemical and biological weapons programs in Ukraine are categorically false and “ridiculous,” he added.
For the representative from Washington, the “fanciful” statements about poisoned banknotes, secret treatment for psychiatric prisoners and confidentiality agreements seem like plots “from a bad spy novel.”
History of chemical weapons use
Such statements follow a pattern that serves as a warning, Richard M. Mills said, as Russian authorities accuse others of the same violations they have perpetrated or intend to perpetrate.
He then warned against giving credence to these “outlandish” claims, nor forgetting that Russia has a long and well-documented history of using chemical weapons, including attempted assassinations and poisoning of enemies of its president, Vladimir Putin, among others. them opposition leader Alexey Navalny.