Security Council to hear Russian claim to US labs in Ukraine

“This is exactly the kind of false flag effort that we warned Russia might launch to justify a biological or chemical weapons attack,” Olivia Dalton, spokeswoman for the US mission to the United Nations, said Thursday evening. United. “We’re not going to let Russia light the world or use the UN Security Council as a venue to promote its disinformation.

The Russian request, announced in a tweet on Thursday afternoon by its first deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, follows the United States’ rejection of Russian accusations that Ukraine runs chemical and biological laboratories with the support from the United States.

Responding to accusations made this week by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova – without evidence – White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned that Russia could use chemical or biological weapons against the Ukraine, the neighbor it invaded.

Psaki called Russia’s claim “absurd” and tweeted: “This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its new premeditated, unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has denied Russia’s accusation that Ukraine is preparing to attack with chemical or biological weapons. Like PSAKI, he said the accusation itself was a bad sign.

“It worries me a lot because we have often been convinced that if you want to know Russia’s plans, that’s what Russia is accusing others of,” he said Thursday night in his nightly address to the nation. .

“I am a reasonable person. The president of a reasonable country and a reasonable people. I am a father of two children,” he said. “And no chemicals or other weapons of mass destruction were developed on my land. The whole world knows that.

On Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby called the Russian assertion a “stack of malarkey.”

Dalton said “Russia has a well-documented history of using chemical weapons and has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law” as well as “a record of false accusations from the West of violations same as Russia itself is committing.”

Dmitry Chumakov, another Russian deputy ambassador to the UN, reiterated the accusation on Wednesday, urging Western media to cover “secret biological lab news in Ukraine”.

A tweet from the Russian Defense Ministry, following Polyansky’s tweet calling for a council meeting, referred to a “briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to US military biological activities on the territory of the ‘Ukraine”.

The UN announced on Thursday evening that the meeting will take place at 10 a.m., but later pushed it back to 11 a.m. UN disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu and UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo are to brief the council.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric reiterated on Thursday that the World Health Organization, which works with the Ukrainian government, “has stated that it is not aware of any activity by the Ukrainian government that would be incompatible with its international treaty obligations, including on chemical or biological weapons”.

For months, the United States has warned against Russian “false flag” operations to create a pretext for invasion.

The White House warning and Dalton’s statement on Thursday suggest that Russia may be looking to create a pretext to further escalate the two-week-old conflict that has seen the Russian offensive slowed, but not stopped, by more Ukrainian defenders. stronger than expected.

The international community has for years assessed that Russia used chemical weapons to carry out assassination attempts against Putin’s enemies like Alexey Navalny, now in a Russian prison, and former spy Sergei Skripal, who lives in the Kingdom. -United. Russia also supports the Assad government in Syria, which has used chemical weapons against its people during an 11-year civil war.

The Security Council held its monthly meeting Thursday on Syria’s chemical weapons with disarmament chief Nakamitsu criticizing the Syrian government for repeatedly refusing to answer questions about its chemical weapons program and urging the Assad government to do it.

Last June, the head of the international chemical weapons watchdog, Fernando Arias, said his experts investigated 77 allegations against Syria and concluded that in 17 cases chemical weapons were probably or definitely used.

Nakamitsu ended his statement Thursday by saying, “The use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international law and an affront to our common humanity.”

“We must remain vigilant to ensure that these dreadful weapons are never used again and are eliminated, not only in Syria, but everywhere,” she said.

US Deputy Ambassador Richard Mills said that, unfortunately, Syria was getting help from its Russian ally, which he said “has repeatedly spread misinformation about the repeated use of ‘chemical weapons by Syria’.

“The recent web of lies that Russia has unleashed in an attempt to justify the premeditated and unjustified war it has undertaken against Ukraine, should make it clear, once and for all, that Russia cannot be trusted either. Russia when talking about the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” Mills said.

Britain’s Deputy Ambassador James Kariuki told the council that “the parallels” between Russia’s action in Ukraine – “besieging cities, killing civilians indiscriminately, forcing millions to flee into quest for security” – and its actions in Syria “are clear”.

“Unfortunately, the comparison extends to chemical weapons as well, as we see the familiar specter of Russian disinformation on chemical weapons rearing its head in Ukraine,” he said.

ABC News

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