2023-04-14 China Daily Editor：Li Yan
U.S. activities related to biological laboratories in Ukraine and other countries have posed biological threats to local communities and violated international regulations on biological weapons, an international law expert said.
The comments came after the Russian State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, approved on Tuesday the parliamentary commission’s final report on U.S. biolabs in Ukraine.
According to the commission, the United States has stationed a network of biological laboratories in a number of states neighboring Russia, where dangerous viruses and other pathogens are being worked on under the auspices of the U.S. Defense Department.
Russian lawmakers called for international attention and a thorough investigation into the U.S.’ illegal activities related to biological laboratories.
“We must do everything in our power to draw the attention of the global community to this unlawful activity by the U.S.,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin was “certainly briefed” about the report.
Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the Russian State Duma, said U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland should testify before the parliamentary commission.
“She should testify before the Commission, the representatives of the people. They say one thing and do another. The law is the same for everyone, and they like to talk about standards. Thus, they should first fulfill the standards and come here,” Volodin said.
Wang Hanling, a research fellow with the Institute of International Law at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the U.S. biolabs in Ukraine have posed a serious threat to the lives and health of local people, citing media reports saying that those activities could be behind the increase in the number of diphtheria, rubella and measles cases in the country since 2014.
“In fact, the U.S. move has exposed local people’s health to great danger. It could also cause widespread diseases,” Wang said.
Viktor Bondarev, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, emphasized that research conducted by the Pentagon on the territory of Ukraine, as well as former Soviet countries, poses a direct threat to Russia and requires the development of special measures to ensure biological security.
“The situation in Ukraine is a blatant example of how the United States, in practice, under the guise of biological activities for preventive and other peaceful purposes, is implementing projects in foreign states aimed at developing components of biological weapons,” Sergey Ryabkov, deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation, said.
Wang said the U.S. military’s bioresearch violated the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the Biological Weapons Convention, which are important parts of international law to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Geneva Protocol is the first international pact that banned the use of asphyxiating, poisonous and other gases, and bacteriological weapons in war. The Biological Weapons Convention went a step further toward the total elimination of such weapons by prohibiting their development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, transfer and delivery systems, as well as requiring their destruction, Wang said.
Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said Russia is fully prepared to repel potential biological threats.
“During the work of the parliamentary commission, we are also convinced that our country is fully prepared for repelling biological threats,” Matviyenko said. “As (Russian Deputy Prime Minister) Tatyana Alekseyevna confirmed, relevant work is being carried out in our country in full and at a high professional level. And our citizens are in safety.”