The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected Russia’s call for an international investigation into claims that Washington used laboratories in Ukraine to develop biological weapons.
The US, Britain, and France voted against Russia’s proposal and the ten rotating council members abstained while China was the only one that backed it.
Expressing his deep disappointment with the vote, Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said that the Western countries are simply afraid of an international investigation into the issue.
The vote reflected the continuing opposition and skepticism of the UNSC about Russia’s actions since it invaded Ukraine in February, but Russia’s veto power has prevented it from taking any action against Russia’s military offensive.
Moscow was pushing for the establishment of an investigative commission to probe its claims that Ukraine and the US have violated the convention prohibiting the use of biological weapons by carrying out military biological activities.
According to Moscow, Washington and Kyiv have been violating the 1972 international convention that bans the development, production and stockpiling of biological weapons.
Its claims describe a secret military-biological program that several laboratories in Ukraine were working on and which involved studying and stockpiling samples of anthrax, cholera as well as other infectious diseases.
Both Washington and Kyiv denied developing biological weapons with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisting in March that the named labs were conducting ordinary scientific research.
US envoy in the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, argued during the vote in the Security Council that Moscow’s proposal for a probe is based on disinformation, dishonesty, bad faith, and a total lack of respect for this body.
She stressed that the activities taken by Washington under the Pentagon’s Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program in Ukraine and other former Soviet states are not for military purposes.
Back in April, the US Mission to International Organizations in Geneva said in April that the CTR’s goal in Ukraine was to help it consolidate and secure pathogens and detect and report disease outbreaks before they pose security or stability threats.
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