U.S. fears Russian experts may come into possession of pathogens stored in Ukraine - Ambassador Antonov
MOSCOW. March 9 (Interfax) - The United States fears it may be accused of breaching the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention if Russia accesses data from Ukrainian bio-laboratories, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said earlier the United States was concerned about the possible Russian access to materials of biological laboratories in Ukraine in the course of the special operation.
"The statements by the Department of State representative indicate the United States fears that Russian experts may come into possession of pathogens stored at these facilities. That would prove that Ukraine and the United States have breached the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention," the Russian embassy to the United States quoted Antonov as saying in a statement on Facebook.
Russia is expecting the U.S. to explain China's statement, according to which "the Pentagon has deployed 336 bio laboratories in 30 countries," Antonov said.
"Why have these dangerous sites been deployed abroad? We are waiting for an honest and direct answer," he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on March 7 that 30 biological laboratories are working with causative agents of dangerous infections in Ukraine within the framework of joint programs with the Pentagon.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the biological programs were being urgently shut down. An analysis of shutdown documents points to work with causative agents of plague, anthrax, brucellosis, and pathogens of diphtheria, salmonellosis and dysentery.