Russia urges US to reveal information about biolabs in Ukraine

Russia has demanded transparency from the United States over the military biological programs implemented in Ukraine, saying Washington needs to inform the world why it had supported the project.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the remarks at a news briefing on Wednesday, saying Russia had evidence showing US-funded biolabs in Ukraine had urgently destroyed samples of deadly pathogens, including anthrax, cholera, and the plague, following Moscow’s military operation in the neighboring country on February 24.

“We can already conclude that in Ukrainian biological laboratories in direct proximity to the territory of our country, development of components of biological weapons was being carried out,” Zakharova said.

“The emergency destruction of dangerous pathogens on February 24 was a necessary step aimed at concealing the fact that Ukraine and the US had violated Article 1 of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention,” she added.

The Russian diplomat further noted that the program financed by the Pentagon was not about “peaceful uses or scientific goals,” stressing that the world needed to know what the US intended to do there, what was the goal and how much investment had been made into Ukraine’s biological activities.

“The US Defense Department and the presidential administration of the United States are obliged to officially explain to the global community, officially, not through talking heads, about the programs in Ukraine. We demand details,” she said. “We demand, and the world awaits.”

Zakharova also said it was not clear if the alleged materials had indeed been completely destroyed, adding, “Have they fallen into the hands of extremists or nationalists – who will provide a guarantee?”

The latest development comes as US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland has already admitted that Ukraine hosts “biological research facilities,” expressing concern that they could come under the control of Russian forces.

Meanwhile, the United States has dismissed as “absurd” renewed Russian claims that Washington was operating biowarfare labs in Ukraine.

“The Russian accusations are absurd, they are laughable and you know, in the words of my Irish Catholic grandfather, a bunch of malarkey. There’s nothing to it. It’s classic Russian propaganda,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday.

He also suggested that Moscow may be laying the groundwork to use a chemical or biological weapon.

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