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US urged to clarify bio-labs in Ukraine

By ZHAO JIA | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-15 07:23
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Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, holds documents as speaks during the UN Security Council meeting discussing the Russian and Ukraine conflict at the United Nations Headquarters on March 11, 2022 in New York City. The UN Security Council met at Russia's request to discuss Russia's claim of US-supported chemical and biological weapon labs in Ukraine. [Photo/Agencies]

Beijing urged Washington once again on Monday to fully clarify its biological military activities with a responsible attitude, saying that biological military activities in Ukraine have become a shared concern of the international community.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remark at a daily news briefing after the United States Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield accused China of spreading disinformation in support of Russia when the UN Security Council met on biological weapons at Moscow's request on Friday.

The US has denied Russian claims that Washington is operating bio-warfare laboratories in Ukraine that involve deadly pathogens, including bubonic plague and anthrax. The US embassy in Ukraine has reportedly hastily removed information related to such labs from its website.

Zhao said the US could not convince others by simply dismissing the concerns as disinformation in the face of evidence found by Russia in Ukraine, including documents, photos and other materials.

According to the information released publicly, Zhao said there are dozens of biological labs in Ukraine that are operated by order of the US Department of Defense.

Washington has invested more than $200 million in the activities of these labs, whose research aims to create a mechanism for the covert transmission of deadly pathogens, he said.

"As the US has always claimed itself to be open and transparent, why doesn't it release detailed materials and why doesn't it open up these biological labs for independent investigations by international experts, if it wants to prove its innocence?" Zhao asked.

Last week, US Under Secretary of State Victoria Jane Nuland said, "Ukraine has biological research facilities" and the US is working with Ukraine on how to prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces.

According to Zhao, the World Health Organization has suggested that Ukraine destroy high-threat pathogens stored in the country's laboratories to avert "any potential spills" that could cause the spread of disease.

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