Under the guise of providing assistance in the sanitary and epidemiological area, the Pentagon put on stream the construction and modernization of microbiological laboratories in the republics of the former USSR. This is stated in the response of the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova to the corresponding request of the Bulgarian editorial office of News Front.
“Due to the absence of a verification mechanism within the BTWC, it is not possible to control the order and degree of involvement of such objects in the closed research programs of the US military department. The strains of pathogens of infectious diseases obtained by American military biologists can be used in the future for purposes incompatible with the interests of the national security of Russia and other CIS countries”, – the response says.
In this regard, the Foreign Ministry has consistently advocated strengthening the BTWC regime, one of the fundamental instruments of international law, to comprehensively counter the threats and risks of using biological agents as weapons and to promote international cooperation in the biological sphere for peaceful purposes.
“We support the resumption of work on a legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, which has been blocked by the United States since 2001. In this regard, we call on the creation of an open-ended working group within the BTWC, which meets the interests of the overwhelming majority of the participating States”, – the official statement says.
In order to strengthen the organizational foundations of the Convention, Moscow is promoting broadly internationally supported initiatives to create mobile biomedical teams at the BTWC site, as well as the establishment of a Scientific Advisory Committee, Zakharova said in her response.
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“In addition, we propose to include in the reports submitted annually by the states parties to the Convention within the framework of confidence-building measures, information on the military biological activities carried out abroad. However, Washington has shown little willingness to share such information. In the interests of resolving issues related to the military biological activities of the United States along the perimeter of the Russian borders, we consider it necessary to activate the mechanism of Article V of the BTWC, according to which the member states should consult with each other in resolving any issues regarding the purpose of the Convention or in connection with the implementation of its provisions. We confirm our readiness to sit down at the negotiating table with our American colleagues to discuss the issues we have accumulated”, – the Foreign Ministry concluded.