Russia Rejects Bioweapons Talk in U.S. Congress as ‘Propaganda’

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
May 13, 2014, 8:31 a.m.

Rus­sia ac­cused U.S. law­makers of host­ing “a pro­pa­ganda event” last week to ex­am­ine its bio­lo­gic­al-weapons po­ten­tial, In­ter­fax re­ports.

The Rus­si­an for­eign min­istry dis­missed as­ser­tions in May 7 con­gres­sion­al testi­mony that Mo­scow may con­tin­ue to over­see a bio­lo­gic­al-arms pro­gram. The min­istry blamed the United States for the ab­sence of a mon­it­or­ing sys­tem un­der the Bio­lo­gic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion, which pro­hib­its mem­ber na­tions from de­vel­op­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing or pos­sess­ing bio­lo­gic­al ma­ter­i­als for use in com­bat.

“Rus­sia sup­ports con­sist­ently en­han­cing [the treaty] by draft­ing and passing an ad­di­tion­al leg­ally bind­ing pro­tocol stip­u­lat­ing, among oth­er things, nondis­crim­in­at­ory and ef­fi­cient veri­fic­a­tion meas­ures,” the min­istry ar­gued in pre­pared com­ments.

The United States uni­lat­er­ally cut short a dec­ade of “sig­ni­fic­ant work” by treaty sig­nat­or­ies to es­tab­lish veri­fic­a­tion pro­ced­ures, and since that time has re­mained stead­fast in its op­pos­i­tion to a mon­it­or­ing re­gime, the Rus­si­an of­fice stated.

Rus­sia is­sued the re­marks in re­ac­tion to a hear­ing of the House For­eign Af­fairs Sub­com­mit­tee on Europe, where Uni­versity of Mary­land seni­or schol­ar Milton Leiten­berg said the ex­ist­ence of a Rus­si­an bio­lo­gic­al-arms pro­gram can­not be ruled out be­cause Mo­scow does not per­mit out­side ac­cess to key fa­cil­it­ies of con­cern.

Ac­cord­ing to the min­istry, “It is sur­pris­ing that cer­tain rep­res­ent­at­ives of the U.S. es­tab­lish­ment con­tin­ue de­mand­ing uni­lat­er­al ac­cess to the Rus­si­an bio­lo­gic­al fa­cil­it­ies amid the U.S. re­fus­al from such a fair and clear [veri­fic­a­tion] mech­an­ism. Such de­mands are in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­ac­cept­able.”

The for­eign of­fice ad­ded that par­ti­cipants in the con­gres­sion­al hear­ing mis­in­ter­preted a 2012 art­icle in which Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin said “ge­net­ic” tech­no­lo­gies could pave the way for more soph­ist­ic­ated bio­lo­gic­al arms.

The lead­er sug­ges­ted that such tech­niques “could be used abroad,” but the “thought was turned up­side down at the hear­ing in the Con­gress,” the Rus­si­an min­istry said.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Transition Team Meeting with Silicon Valley VIPs
1 hours ago

Donald Trump's "transition team will meet next week with representatives of the tech industry, multiple sources confirmed, even as their candidate largely has been largely shunned by Silicon Valley. The meeting, scheduled for next Thursday at the offices of law and lobbying firm BakerHostetler, will include trade groups like the Information Technology Industry Council and the Internet Association that represent major Silicon Valley companies."

McConnell Doubts Criminal Justice Reform Can Pass This Year
1 hours ago
Trump Did Business with Cuba
2 hours ago

Today in bad news for Donald Trump:

  • Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
  • The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.
Clinton Holds Lead in Five Battlegrounds
2 hours ago

In some of the first state-by-state surveys since Monday night's debate, Hillary Clinton has the edge in five battlegrounds, according to polls by Public Policy Polling. In four-way matchups, Clinton leads Donald Trump 46%-40% in Colorado, 45%-43% in Florida, 44%-42% in North Carolina, 45%-39% in Pennsylvania, and 46%-40% in Virginia. Gary Johnson doesn't top 7% in any state. Voters in all five states thought that Clinton decisively won the debate.

House Passes CR, Sends Bill to President’s Desk
15 hours ago