China on Thursday joined Russia’s unfounded allegations that the United States funded the development of biological weapons in Ukraine. Speaking at a press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated that the US should accept “multilateral inspection” of an alleged US-controlled bioweapons lab in the embattled country. Referring to allegations by a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman that Washington had funded the development of biological weapons in Ukrainian labs, Lijian added that the “uncovered secrets” about the US are not something to be brushed off by saying “ridiculous”.
“The Russian military operation that uncovered secrets about US laboratories in Ukraine is not something to be brushed off by saying it’s so-called propaganda and so-called ridiculous,” Zhao Lijian said on Thursday.
It is imperative to note that both Kyiv and Washington have firmly denied the claims. Instead, the two countries fear that Russia is “setting the scene” to use chemical weapons of its own and then try to blame Ukraine in a “false-flag attack”. However, the claims coming out of Moscow have since been supported by Beijing, with Lijian saying that “US Biolabs in Ukraine has indeed attracted much attention recently”.
Previously as well, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, without providing evidence to back the claim, had stated that “all dangerous pathogens in Ukraine must be stored in these labs and all research activities are led by the US side.”
UNSC to convene on Friday to discuss ‘US biological activities in Ukraine’
Now, after Moscow’s request to discuss its claims against the US conducting “military biological activities” on the territory of Ukraine, the UN Security Council (UNSC) decided to meet on Friday. Council diplomats confirmed the meeting would convene at 10am EST (8:30pm IST), on March 11, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.
Meanwhile, the US has rejected all accusations of running military bio-activities on Ukrainian territory and rebuffed Moscow’s claims as “propaganda and disinformation”. In response to Russia’s claims, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a public warning saying that Russia might seek to use chemical or biological weapons against Ukraine. Psaki further called Russia’s claim “preposterous”.
She tweeted saying, “This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine.” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby also described Russia’s claim as “a bunch of malarkey.”