Russia calls for UN Security Council probe of alleged biological labs in Ukraine
Russia has drafted a United Nations Security Council resolution that would investigate Moscow’s claims that the U.S. and Ukraine are violating prohibitions on biological weapons through work at Ukrainian biological laboratories, The Associated Press reported.
Moscow for months has levied the allegations, which were previously condemned as “classic” Russian propaganda by U.S. intelligence officials, who say Ukraine operates just over a dozen biolabs for public health and biodefense purposes with U.S. assistance.
The Associated Press, citing a copy it obtained of the draft resolution, reported that Russia is filing a complaint under the Biological Weapons Convention, which was signed in 1972 to ban the development and use of biological and toxin weapons.
The resolution would create a 15-member commission authorized by the Security Council to investigate the claims, the outlet reported.
The Associated Press reported that the commission would report to the Security Council by Nov. 30 and establish a review conference in Geneva, Switzerland from Nov. 28 through Dec. 16.
The U.S. publicly acknowledges its support for Ukrainian biolabs but notes that they were developed as part of the biological threat reduction program, which seeks to improve abilities to detect and report outbreaks of dangerous pathogens before they cause major threats.
Russia, however, began accusing the two countries of developing biological weapons in the early days of Russia’s invasion.
U.S. and Western officials have long accused Russia of making false accusations and staging “false flag” operations to justify its invasion of Ukraine.
The Hill has reached out to the U.S. mission to the United Nations for comment.
The war in recent weeks has largely concentrated in Ukraine’s south, where Ukrainian forces are making gains closer to Kherson, the sole Ukrainian regional capital controlled by Russia.
Kyiv has accused Russia of planning to blow up a major dam that could flood the city and affect cooling efforts at Ukraine’s largest nuclear plant.
Moscow, meanwhile, has accused Kyiv of planning to use a radioactive “dirty bomb.” The U.S. has rejected those allegations and warned they could be a pretext to Russian attacks.
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