UPDATED 1:41 PM PT – Thursday, March 10, 2022
The Biden administration has continued to deny that the U.S. had any involvement with chemical weapons labs in Ukraine, yet the U.S. Under Secretary of State confirmed their existence.
This comes as China claims it’s concerned about an alleged biological weapons development program in Ukraine. On Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian echoed Russian allegations of a U.S.-run chemical and biological warfare laboratory in Ukraine. He called for its immediate inspection.
“We urge the U.S., once again, to fulfill its international obligations, make comprehensive clarifications on its domestic and foreign biological military activities, accept multilateral verification, and complete the destruction of its stockpile of chemical weapons as soon as possible,” Lijian stated.
While the Pentagon has rejected those allegations, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland confirmed the existence during a hearing on Capitol Hill just days ago while referring to them as biological research facilities.
“Ukraine has biological research facilities which we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control of,” she explained. “So we are working with Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.”
Until yesterday this was "fake news" and "conspiracy theory". Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland just confirmed that #Ukraine has "biological research facilities", when asked if Ukraine has bioweapons. She also said US is worried Russia may get "those research materials" pic.twitter.com/xY2a7KuUCG
— Dilyana Gaytandzhieva (@dgaytandzhieva) March 9, 2022
Further, a U.S. National Academy of Sciences article reported that in 2005 then-Sen. Barack Obama negotiated the construction of a level three bio-safety lab in Odessa, Ukraine. The Interim Central Reference Lab was geared to handle “especially dangerous pathogens.”
Nuland’s statement comes as the U.S. claims any allegations of a bio-lab in Ukraine are “misinformation and propaganda.” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby even denied the claims, seemingly going against what the Under Secretary of State said just days prior. While speaking to reporters Wednesday, Kirby echoed the White House in calling the claims false.
We are not developing biological or chemical weapons inside Ukraine. This is textbook Russian propaganda. pic.twitter.com/STMVozrtK4
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) March 10, 2022
This came in response to Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson who said they have documents showing Ukraine ordered the destruction of plague, cholera, anthrax and other pathogen samples in an attempt to erase evidence of the military program.
Kirby dismissed the report as Russian “disinformation.” Also Wednesday, the State Department claimed Russia is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine.