US rejects claims of biological weapons being used in Ukraine
Two senior defense officials held an on-background press briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday
The United States is not assisting Ukraine with biological weapons in its war with Russia and there are no indications that biological weapons are being used by Ukraine, said a US Defense Department official.
Two senior defense officials held an on-background press briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday, the US Defense Department said in a press release.
There are five biological research laboratories in Kyiv. Their work focuses on diagnostics, therapeutics, treatments, prevention and vaccines, not on military use as the Russians and Chinese accuse, the US official said.
The Biological Weapons Convention effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons.
It was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. The United States, Ukraine and Russia signed onto it in 1972 and all three ratified it in 1975.
Earlier, Russia said it has obtained evidence that the regime in Kyiv had urgently eliminated all traces of the US-funded military biological program in Ukraine.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov on Wednesday said Ukrainian laboratories' staffers testified last month that a number of dangerous pathogens of plague, anthrax, cholera and other deadly diseases were urgently disposed of.
Over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Pentagon official said the Russians have moved about five kilometers closer to Kyiv since yesterday and are now about 40 kilometers east of the city.
There are multiple lines of advancements toward Kyiv, with the assessed intent of encircling the Ukrainian capital. However, their progress to do so hasn't been effective, the US official said.
Security assistance continues to flow into Ukraine from the US and NATO allies, the official said.
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