What are U.S. biology labs researching in Ukraine?
Chinese Foreign Ministry demands explanations from the U.S. about experiments in bio-labs in Ukraine. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that the U.S. is the only country still blocking the creation of a verification mechanism under the Biological Weapons Convention.
China recently had WHO experts search for the origin of the coronavirus in Wuhan and is now demanding that the U.S. also let WHO into its bio labs. In doing so, China has specifically mentioned U.S. bio labs in Ukraine as well.
The US is the only state that has signed the ban on biological weapons but refuses inspections of its bio labs. China has now commented on this for the latest reason, including a demand for WHO experts to have access to US bio labs outside the US. This has been reported by the Russian news agency TASS and I have translated the TASS report.
PEKING, April 8 /TASS/. The U.S. government should fully inform the international community about its experiments in U.S. military bio-labs in Ukraine and Fort Detrick. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian said at a press conference on Thursday.
"We hope that the countries concerned and the United States will take a responsible and open position and start cooperation with the World Health Organization and invite its experts to conduct scientific research on the origin of the coronavirus in the United States, as China has done before," he said. I understand that Russia has recently raised questions again with the United States about its military and biological activities at Fort Detrick and in Ukraine. Other countries have also raised similar concerns," he said. "Let's take Ukraine as an example. In Ukraine alone, the U.S. has established 16 biological laboratories. Why has the U.S. set up so many laboratories around the world and what are they doing there, including at Fort Detrick?"
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that the United States is the only country still blocking the creation of a verification mechanism under the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. "We again call on the United States to take a responsible position and address the concerns of the international community and provide exhaustive explanations of what it is doing in these laboratories, as well as respond to requests for a review mechanism," he said.
The Walter Reed Army Research Institute is located at Fort Detrick, Maryland. It is operated by the Pentagon and conducts biomedical research, including on infectious diseases.
U.S. biology labs in Ukraine
In April 2020, a number of Ukrainian TV channels, including "1+1" and "Newsone," reported that there are U.S. military biology labs in Ukraine where experiments with pathogens of dangerous infectious diseases are conducted. In the same month, Rada deputies - the chief opposition party "Opposition Platform for Life" Viktor Medvedchuk and Renat Kuzmin - reported that they had demanded in writing from the government and relevant authorities a report on the work of 15 U.S. bio-labs in the country.
They recalled that in August 2005, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense signed an agreement on cooperation in preventing the spread of technologies, pathogens and knowledge that can be used for the development of biological weapons. The document provides for the collection and storage of all dangerous pathogens on Ukrainian territory in laboratories funded by Washington and requires Ukraine, at U.S. request, to transfer copies of dangerous strains to the United States for further research.
Medvedchuk believes that the facilities in Ukraine are subordinate to the Pentagon and carry out its orders, making them de facto U.S. military bases, which is explicitly prohibited by Article 17 of the Ukrainian Constitution. The opposition party also suspected that the laboratories could become the source of epidemics in the country, but the U.S. Embassy denied this. In addition, the party noted that the U.S. Embassy has tried to conceal information about the work of two centers working on the study of dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.