1 Nov 2017 16:04

Threat of biological weapons use cannot be disregarded - Ryabkov

SOCHI. Nov 1 (Interfax) - Moscow believes that state and non-state entities may use biological weapons against Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

"The threat of use of biological weapons by state and non-state entities cannot be disregarded, especially bearing in mind that such use can be camouflaged as natural outbreaks of infectious diseases in people, animals or plants," Ryabkov said at a conference on biological security held in Sochi on Wednesday.

"Bearing that in mind, one needs to maintain readiness of rapid reaction forces and means capable of promptly dealing with the situation on site and take urgent measures to contain the epidemic," he said.

The absence of objective data on the observance on the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons" creates a situation of uncertainty and raises questions about the real situation," he said.

"The concerns in this regard are increased due to the excessive amounts of financing of dual-purpose microbiological programs, suspicious experiments with deadly disease agents, especially aerosol experiments, increasing military medical-biological activities outside of national territories and other risk factors," he said.

"We believe that the most effective method for reinforcing the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons would be the adoption of a legally binding protocol on all its provisions, including verification. This is our unchanging and long-term goal," Ryabkov said.