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US interaction with Russia’s allies in biological sphere is a theme for discussions — MFA

Sergey Ryabkov stressed that in the meantime the United States in its approaches to work with Russia's allies in the CSTO was guided by interests opposed to Moscow’s

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The United States’ interaction with Russia’s allies on biological matters is a theme for profound discussions, but Moscow trusts its partners, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told a news briefing on Tuesday.

"Of course, the interaction between the United States and its allies with our allies is a reason for discussions and serious conversations. We trust our allies. We know they make a responsible approach to how they should build relations with the United States," Ryabkov said.

He stressed that in the meantime the United States in its approaches to work with Russia's allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was guided by interests opposed to Moscow’s.

"Accordingly, there emerges a space for in-depth discussions, and this is precisely what we have been doing, by maintaining and expanding the basis in the form of relevant memorandums of understanding and other documents," he added.

Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that during the special military operation, signs surfaced of urgent cleanup actions by Kiev to hide the traces of a Pentagon-funded military biological program that was being implemented in Ukraine. Konashenkov said that some employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories testified to the emergency elimination on February 24 of especially dangerous pathogens, such as plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases. On Monday, the Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, said that there were about 30 American biological laboratories in Ukraine, and that in general, the United States had created a whole network of such organizations around Russia.

The Pentagon acknowledged on June 9 that the United States had provided support for 46 different civilian laboratories, health care facilities and diagnostic centers in Ukraine over the past 20 years. It argued that no nuclear, biological or chemical weapons programs had been carried out, and that all cooperation with Ukraine was "peaceful efforts to improve nuclear and radiological safety and security, disease surveillance, chemical safety and security, and readiness to respond to epidemics and pandemics."

Ryabkov also said that increasingly fewer states are taking US biological activities lightly. "The discussions showed that nobody’s taking all this lightly, <…> and this is perhaps one of the effects that gives reason to hope that the idea of an enhanced Biological Weapons Convention would receive a wider and more articulated support," the Russian diplomat noted.

According to Ryabkov, "a range of countries both friendly and those who have been pursuing a more aggressive policy against Russia took the facts and evidence presented by Russia ahead of a consultative meeting (of states parties to the Biological Weapons Convention - TASS) and in its course quite seriously."