Moscow, 17 March 2022 (TDI): Maria Zakharova, the Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, tweeted on the official account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, that Russia “calls for strengthening the regime of the Biological Weapons Convention”.

Furthermore, they (Russian Federation) proposed that the “information about ongoing military biological activities” should be included in the reports presented annually by the member states of the Convention.

Russia’s Claims and United Nations’ Response

On Friday, 11 March 2022, Russia called the meeting to discuss the claims that Ukraine is operating labs of biological weapons with support from the United States.

The United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu, responded to Russia’s claims. He told the council of the 15 members that “the United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programmes” in Ukraine.

The Biological Weapons Convention

“The Convention (BWC) prohibits the production, development, stockpiling, acquisition, transfer and use of “biological and toxin weapons”.

The BWC was a supplementation to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which only prohibited the use of such weapons. The Convention was the first “multilateral disarmament treaty” that banned the “entire category of weapons of mass destruction”.

Member States and signatories

The Convention (BWC) currently has 183 state members, including Palestine. It has four signatories, including Egypt, Syria, Haiti and Somalia.

Besides the member states, ten states have “neither signed nor ratified” the BWC. These states include Chad, Tuvalu, South Sudan, Comoros, Namibia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Micronesia, Kiribati and Israel. These countries can accede to the BWC at any time.