Russia calls on the United States to sit down and bilaterally discuss issues related to the American side's military and biological activities along the Russian borders. This came in an August 6 briefing statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department Deputy Director Alexey Zaitsev.
According to him, stepped-up military and biological activities of the United States and its allies outside their national borders, including in the post-Soviet space, raises grave questions with the Russian Foreign Ministry as regards respecting the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). "Under the guise of providing sanitary and epidemiological assistance, the Pentagon put on stream the construction and modernization of microbiological laboratories in the former Soviet republics. It is not possible to control the procedure or degree of these facilities’ involvement in closed research programs under the US military," he explained.
The diplomat stressed that the strains of infectious pathogens obtained by US military biologists could be used in the future for purposes incompatible with the interests of the national security of Russia and other CIS countries. In particular, Zaitsev went on to say, Russia proposes including information on military biological programs implemented abroad in the annual reports submitted by the states Parties to the Convention as a confidence building measure, but the "American colleagues seem unwilling to share such information," TASS reports.
Remarkably, Moscow's call came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which had already claimed the lives of over 700 thousand people around the world. Meanwhile, hundreds of US biolaboratories located in different countries under the guise of harmless research centers engaged in allegedly civil developments, proved unexceptional in combating coronavirus.
Let's recall that following the USSR collapse, US biolabs were being created in the territories of newly formed republics on an all too regular basis. Those appeared in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. At that, the number of laboratories along Russian borders is only growing with every passing year.
According to official statements, the establishment of a US biolab network in the former Soviet republics has a higher purpose of overseeing epidemiological policy and research in those countries, preventing the spread of information potentially related to biological weapons, and thus minimizing the biological threat to America.
But in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the question immediately arises as to what is the work product of these biolabs as regards fighting against COVID-19? Why hasn’t such an extensive network of institutions functioning for the good of biological protection done a stitch of work to protect even their own citizens?
The answers to these questions seem not that hard to plumb. And the key one is that the United States is a country most involved in militarily-charged biological research which falls outside the Biological Weapons Convention restrictions.
Besides, US biolabs near the Russian borders are funded by the Pentagon. Any country's Defense Ministry wouldn't obviously apply huge resources to utterly peaceful scientific research. The placement of biolabs in other countries is clearly related to American geopolitical goals, rather than to the security of the United States itself.
The US military establishment is conceivably preparing for a possible war even in peacetime, involving the use of biological weapons. A pandemic is all very well, but at the same time, the more likely goal is to "besiege" Russia, particularly with forward-based biological weapons facilities. Moreover, biolaboratories at the Russian borders may well be designed to scout out conditions of practical application for modern biological weapons, as well as to scope their potential targets.
And one more aspect. During the Cold War, the American government took a fancy for detecting which of the country's cities were most susceptible to biological attacks. It did not come up with anything better than to arrange a "training experiment" on its own population, and in 1950 the US Navy sent a boat to San Francisco laden with infected test-tubes with Serratia Marcescens and Bacillus Globigii bacteria. Operation Sea-Spray, as it was dubbed, aimed to investigate the vulnerability of a large city following biological operations, their environmental effect and ways to combat them. Today, given the biolabs' location next to the Russian borders, running such experiments has become easier and safer.