Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at Arria-formula meeting of UNSC members "Threats to international peace and security emanating from military biological activities in regions across the globe"
Thank you for participating in the event we host today.
This Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council is a next one in the series of discussions on the military biological activities on the territory of Ukraine that we had in the Council recently.
As you all know, since we stated that on numerous occasions, in the course of the special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense discovered evidence that Ukrainian authorities, supported and directly sponsored by the US Department of Defense, were implementing dangerous projects and experiments as a part of military biological program. These activities had been carried out on the Ukrainian territory, in the middle of Eastern Europe and in close proximity to Russian borders for many years, posing a direct threat to biological security of our country and the region.
These findings are very alarming. They clearly show that the risk to international peace and security emanating from such activities in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention is real. No country, neither in Europe, nor in Asia, in Africa or Latin America, is safe, as biothreats resulting from the use of bioweapons respect no borders. This is why the bioweapons are being considered as one of the most horrible and inhumane methods of warfare.
The use of bacteriological methods of warfare was prohibited yet in 1925, with the adoption of the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. In 1975 the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) entered into force, which prohibited the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxic weapons.
The US carries out military biological activities outside the national territory in many countries and regions across the globe. Ukraine is just one of the examples. These activities lack transparency since the US refuses to provide any information about them: in particular, what the real intention of the US side in these projects and the relationship of such activities with the US Department of Defense are, and why the Pentagon is so deeply involved.
At the same time, the US, though being one of the BWC depository governments, rejected in 2001 and since then has been exclusively opposing development of a legally binding Protocol to the BWC with efficient verification mechanism.
We are really worried about this issue and believe that the international community should be kept alert. The developing countries are especially vulnerable and should be protected from a threat of becoming a territory for dangerous biological experiments.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you today our briefers who have exceptional expertise on matters related to military “biology”, and are widely known to general public and invest relentless efforts to educate the international community on the actual situation around biolaboratories across the globe.
Our first briefer needs no introduction. We have the honor to welcome General Igor Kirillov, the Commander in Chief of Radiologic, Chemical and Biological Defense of the Russian Armed Forces. I am sure his face is very familiar to you and that you have heard his name in the briefings on the situation in Ukraine. General Kirillov is second to none when it comes to knowledge on the actual developments on the ground. The team he leads prepared a detailed and factual presentation. It is a rare opportunity to learn all of these in such a systematic way and first hand. Since his schedule is extremely packed, he sent us a pre-recorded video with his presentation.
Our second briefer is an independent journalist from Bulgaria Dilyana Gaytandzhieva. She is also the Middle East correspondent and the founder of the Arms Watch. Over the last years she has published a series of revealing reports on weapons supplies to terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Her current work is focused on documenting war crimes and illicit arms exports to war zones around the world.
This is a courageous lady, who was the first European journalist who raised the issue about the Pentagon-funded biolaboratories as early as 2018 and broadcast a documentary on one of these biolaboratories in Georgia. I would like to stress that she has been studying this issue long before the UN discussion on this topic started.
We are also very glad to greet today Mr. Arkadiy Mamontov, a renowned Russian TV journalist and TV host. He was very modest while presenting his bio, where he just stated that he is ‘engaged in investigative journalism”. But I can tell you that in Russia Arkadiy Mamontov is a household name. He has been producing eye-opening documentaries for decades, on a wide range of most serious and urgent topics. He is one of the patriarchs of the investigative journalism in Russia. And we are very glad to have him with us today.
We hope that our briefers will help all of us improve and expand the optics for the discussions of this issue in the United Nations.