MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Russia calls for sharing information about activities in the sphere of biological protection carried out outside national territories, chief of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force, Igor Kirillov, said.
According to Kirillov, this initiative, along with others geared to strengthen the biological weapons non-proliferation regime, was proposed by the Russian side during the 9th Review Conference of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva.
"Among these initiatives was the resumption of talks on a legally binding protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) with a comprehensive and effective verification mechanism, which would include lists of pathogen microorganisms, toxins, and specialized equipment. Secondly, it is necessary to expand the format of trust-building measures through sharing information about research and development in the area of biological protection carried out outside national territories," he said.
Apart from that, in his words, Russia proposed to set up a scientific and consultative committee to assess technology and research developments, which would have broad geographic representation and provide equal rights to its participants. Apart from that, it was proposed to use mobile medical biological teams under the BTWC.
However, these proposals were blocked by the collective West, he pointed out, adding that no objections were voiced exclusively against talks on the establishment of a scientific and consultative committee. "The United States explicitly stated that they will oppose any wording about the importance of a legally binding protocol and verification procedures in the final document, although this initiative was supported by more than 120 member nations," Kirillov stressed.
In his words, Western delegations pushed through resolutions only on the matters they were interested in, ignoring other states’ priorities. The focus of attention was deliberately shifted to secondary issues and alternative mechanisms.