WASHINGTON (AA) – While denying possessing chemical or biological weapons “anywhere”, the US has warned Russia could use such weapons in Ukraine.
In a series of tweets, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Russia falsely claimed that the US has biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development facilities in Ukraine, claims which she said were echoed by Chinese officials.
The warning comes in response to claims by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who said that documents suggest “components of bioweapons were being developed in Ukraine.”
Speaking at a weekly briefing in Moscow, Zakharova said the Russian Armed Forces received evidence of the development of biological weapon components by Ukraine under US guidance from the employees of Ukraine’s biological labs.
Psaki said the US is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention, adding Washington “does not develop or possess such weapons anywhere.”
She accused Russia of having “a long and well-documented track record” of using chemical weapons, citing the poisoning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political rival Alexey Navalny.
Psaki also cited the war in Syria, accusing Moscow of using chemical weapons to support the Bashar al-Assad regime.
“It’s Russia that has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law.”
“This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” she added.