By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — The United Nations on March 11 said it was not aware of any biological weapons program in Ukraine, while Washington expressed concern that Russia was spreading the unproven claim in order to launch its own biological or chemical attacks.
Russia had requested a Security Council meeting to address its allegations of U.S. “biological activities” in Ukraine — a charge made without any evidence and denied by both Washington and Kyiv.
Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN high representative for disarmament affairs, told the council that the United Nations is “not aware” of any biological weapons program in Ukraine.
The Russian envoy to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, repeated the claim — without providing evidence — that Ukraine ran biological weapons laboratories with U.S. Defense Department support.
Under a 2005 agreement, the Pentagon has assisted several Ukrainian public health laboratories with improving the security of dangerous pathogens and technology used in research.
The U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said Washington was “deeply concerned” that Russia called the session as a “false flag effort” aimed at laying the groundwork for its own use of biological or chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“Russia has a track record of falsely accusing other countries of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
She added: “We have serious concerns that Russia may be planning to use chemical or biological agents against the Ukrainian people.”
“We believe Russia could use chemical or biological agents for assassinations, as part of a staged or false flag incident, or to support tactical military operations,” she said.
Britain’s UN ambassador, Barbara Woodward, called Moscow’s allegations “utter nonsense” and said “Russia is sinking to new depths today, but the council must not get dragged down with it.