Russia accuses US and Ukraine of making bioweapons
Geneva, Switzerland - Russian officials are demanding a hearing into US activities in Ukraine and accuse Kyiv of developing biological weapons on behalf of the US, in a series questions submitted to a UN body.
The Russian government is demanding an official hearing among member states of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva, arguing activities allegedly undertaken by the US and Ukraine violate the convention.
The allegations emerged on Wednesday when the secretariat published the questions posed by Russia.
Moscow has repeatedly made these assertions that have been slammed in the past by the US, Ukraine, and Western countries, which have labeled Russia's move part of a propaganda campaign.
"This is part of Russia's disinformation campaign, and the accusations have no basis in fact," a European diplomat said in Geneva.
There has only been one such hearing since the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction was established in 1975.
Cuba accused the US of destroying crops by dropping insects on Cuban fields in 1997.
US and Ukraine deny Russia's allegations
The questions submitted by Russia refer to the alleged absence of reports concerning pathogens being researched in Ukrainian laboratories and the alleged absence of legislation to deal with dangerous pathogens.
The document also mentions US military experts who are said to have been involved in research in Ukraine.
"Does the United States consider the inventions featured in these patents to be tools that could be used to deliver biological and toxin weapons?" is one of Moscow's questions directed towards the US, referring to patents that were allegedly awarded.
Both Ukraine and the US have denied the charges and supplied their own documents. Ukraine presented 45 pages about its research program, accompanied by a note that reads, "Russian accusations will never justify its unprovoked attack against Ukraine."
The hearing, held behind closed doors, is due to continue until Friday.
Cover photo: 123RF/strebkov