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    U.N. says no proof to again Russian declare of Ukraine organic weapons program

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    March 11 (Reuters) – The United Nations on Friday mentioned it had no proof Ukraine had a organic weapons program whereas Washington and its allies accused Russia of spreading the unproven declare as a potential prelude to launching its personal organic or chemical assaults.

    Russia known as the assembly of the 15-member U.N. Safety Council to reassert by its envoy Vassily Nebenzia, with out offering proof, that Ukraine ran organic weapons laboratories with U.S. Protection Division help.

    Member international locations known as the declare “a lie” and “utter nonsense” and used the session to accuse Russia of intentionally concentrating on and killing a whole bunch of civilians in Ukraine, assertions that Russia denies in a 15-day offensive it calls “a particular army operation.”

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    Izumi Nakamitsu, the U.N. Excessive Consultant for Disarmament Affairs, advised the council the United Nations is “not conscious” of any organic weapons program in Ukraine, which joined a global ban on such arms, as has Russia and the USA together with 180 different international locations.

    Underneath a 2005 settlement, the Pentagon has assisted a number of Ukrainian public well being laboratories with bettering the safety of harmful pathogens and expertise used to analysis. These efforts have been supported by different international locations and the World Well being Group.

    The WHO advised Reuters on Thursday that it had suggested Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in its public well being laboratories to forestall “any potential spills” that may unfold illness among the many inhabitants. learn extra

    The U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, mentioned Washington was “deeply involved” that Russia known as the session as a “false flag effort” to put the groundwork for its personal use of organic or chemical weapons in Ukraine.

    Though she offered no proof of an imminent Russian menace through the assembly, she mentioned: “Russia has a observe file of falsely accusing different international locations of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating.”

    She added: “Now we have severe considerations that Russia could also be planning to make use of chemical or organic brokers in opposition to the Ukrainian folks.

    “The intent behind these lies appears clear, and it’s deeply troubling,” she mentioned. “We imagine Russia might use chemical or organic brokers for assassinations, as a part of a staged or false flag incident, or to help tactical army operations.”

    The United Nations headquarters constructing is pictured with a UN brand within the Manhattan borough of New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

    RUSSIA CITES U.S. 2003 IRAQ ASSERTION

    Responding to Thomas-Greenfield’s assertion, Nebenzia recalled then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s 2003 Safety Council testimony when he offered what Washington claimed was proof that Iraq was hiding banned weapons of mass destruction applications.

    The US used the assertion, which turned out to be false, to justify its 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    Answering the Russian envoy, Thomas-Greenfield mentioned: “I do know that you just count on me to reply however we’re not going to offer any extra airtime to the lies that you just’re listening to at present.”

    U.S. allies echoed Thomas-Greenfield’s considerations that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authorities was spreading the declare of a U.S.-backed bioweapons program in Ukraine to arrange its personal chemical or organic assaults in Ukraine.

    “The council shouldn’t be served with fantasies or starry-eyed tales, however with proof independently verified and collaborated,” mentioned Ferit Hoxha, the ambassador of NATO member Albania.

    “We must always subsequently be very anxious that in spreading such disinformation, a crescendo of allegations about weapons of mass destruction might function yet one more pretext for Russia to arrange the bottom and use chemical or organic weapons throughout its ongoing invasion of Ukraine,” he mentioned.

    French Ambassador Nicholas de Riviere famous, as did a number of different envoys, that Russia allegedly used a nerve agent in failed makes an attempt to kill jailed opposition chief Alexei Navalny and a former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, who defected to Britain, and his daughter.

    Russia denies these allegations.

    Chatting with reporters earlier on Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden warned Russia that it will pay a “extreme value” if its army ought to use chemical weapons in opposition to Ukraine.

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    Reporting by Jonathan Landay and Humeyra Pamuk; Modifying by Howard Goller

    Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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