13 September 2022 09:58
Statement by K.V.Vorontsov, Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation at the Consultative Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention on Article V of the BTWC (Geneva, 9 September 2022)
Dear Mr. Chairman,
We are grateful for your efforts to arrange a constructive dialogue during the Consultative meeting to address reasonable questions posed by the Russian Federation to the United States and Ukraine regarding their compliance with the BTWC in the context of the activities of biological laboratories in Ukrainian territory. We are grateful to the States that participated in this event for their contribution to the work and their desire to fully resolve the situation that had arisen.
The Russian Federation assumed that the Consultative meeting would let the delegations concerned, with the support of their experts, gain a thorough understanding of the situation, exchange assessments, ask professional questions and receive detailed answers. During the consultations, we made all the necessary efforts to provide detailed materials and arguments to enable the Consultative meeting to achieve its objectives and resolve the situation related to military and biological activities in the territory of Ukraine.
However, based on the results of the exchange of views among participating States, we note that the overwhelming majority of the claims put forward by Russia have gone unanswered. As stated in the final report of the Consultative Meeting, it was not possible to reach consensus on the questions we raised, they remain open and require resolution. This is regrettable, since it undermines the authority of the Article V consultative mechanism and the BTWC regime as a whole.
We regard the policy pursued by the United States and Ukraine during the Consultative meeting as being aimed at ensuring the continued unhindered implementation by the Pentagon of military and biological research outside the national territory (including in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders) under the guise of allegedly “purely peaceful” and “nothing to do with bioweapons” activities. This is yet another attempt to misrepresent the situation in order to distract the attention of the international community from the real risks and threats posed by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme carried out by the United States military in contravention of the BTWC.
In order to resolve the current situation with regard to military and biological activities in Ukrainian territory, we see the need to continue the consultation process within the framework of the BTWC and to consider its results at the Ninth Review Conference.
However, taking into account the precedent of 1997, when the issues raised by Cuba with respect to the United States were never resolved, and the disappointing results of the current Consultative meeting in the lack of consensus on the issues we put forward, we consider it necessary to go beyond consultations and exchanges of views. All instruments available under the Convention, including Article VI of the BTWC, should be involved to investigate Ukraine’s and the U.S.’ violations of the Convention.
The Consultation meeting demonstrated the urgent need to strengthen the BTWC regime. Above all, this concerns the resumption of negotiations on a legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, which has been blocked by the US since 2001.
Other steps are also required. The Russian Federation has long been proposing the inclusion of information on military and biological activities conducted abroad in the reports to be submitted annually by the States Parties to the Convention as part of the confidence-building measures.
Only such comprehensive measures will make it possible to place the military and biological activities of the United States and its allies in various regions of the world, including the post-Soviet space, under a close international control and ensure a verifiable compliance by States Parties to the BTWC with their obligations.
Thank you for your attention.