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Russia has made unsubstantiated claims the US was experimenting with ‘coronavirus samples’ and developing biological weapons in Ukraine.
During a televised briefing, Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the ministry had obtained documents that detailed the US carrying out military-biological activities in Ukraine.
He said during the address: 'Biolaboratories set up and funded in Ukraine have been experimenting with bat coronavirus samples.'
He said went on to say ‘the purpose of this - and other Pentagon-funded biological research in Ukraine - was to establish a mechanism for the stealthy spread of deadly pathogens.'
Konashenkov said the US ‘planned to carry out research on bird, bat and reptile pathogens', the Daily Mail reports.
He did not provide evidence for his claims, which have been strongly refuted by the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote on Twitter: “We took note of Russia’s false claims about alleged U.S. biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine. We’ve also seen Chinese officials echo these conspiracy theories.
“This is preposterous. It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent.”
She went on to say the US fully complies with ‘its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention’ and does not develop or own any such weapons.
She said it was Russia that has a ‘long and well-documented history’ with chemical weapons.
Psaki continued: “Also, Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating. In December, Russia falsely accused the U.S. of deploying contractors with chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine.
“Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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