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Current Affairs

Russia’s biological weapons claims

Date: 14 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A meeting of the UN Security Council was recently held to discuss claims of Russia that US was funding biological weapons programme in Ukraine.

 

Background

Russia from time and again claimed that Ukraine would use biological weapon, which the US says is a pretext for using its own biological weapons against Ukraine.

 

Details

  • Russia claims that US is running a secret military-biological programme in secret location in Ukraine.

  • Moscow says that invading forces of its country discovered evidence of emergency clean-up to veil the project.

  • It is being claimed that these laboratories were located in the cities of Kharkiv and Poltava. China has supported the claims.

 

Response

  • Both USA and Ukraine have denied they are developing any biological weapons inside the country. They have accused Russia of possessing such weapons.

  • The UN has also denied having any such knowledge of biological weapons in Ukraine against the rules.

  • The Biological Weapons Convention of 1975 categorically prohibits the development and use of biological weapons.

 

US investment in biological programme

  • The US undersecretary of state has confirmed that US funds several biological research facilities in Ukraine.

  • The government claims that these research facilities are not weapon based but towards public health initiatives.

  • The Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) was started after fall of Soviet Union to develop surveillance of diseases in animals and people as an early-warning system for illnesses.

 

Threat level

  • As part of the programme, there appears to be potentially hazardous pathogens being stored in laboratories.

  • If they are discovered by invading Russian forces, it may give Russia the reason to use its own weapons.

  • Russia had previously supported Syria when it had launched chemical weapons during the civil war.