On Friday, September 9, the Biological Weapons Convention Article V Formal Consultative Meeting, called by Russia, ended in Geneva. The United States delegation, led by Special Representative Kenneth D. Ward, effectively exposed Russia’s disinformation tactics and dispelled Russia’s spurious allegations seeking to malign peaceful U.S. cooperation with Ukraine.
In the presence of delegations from 89 countries, the United States and Ukraine presented a thorough, in-depth series of presentations that strongly refuted Russia’s absurd and false claims of U.S. biological weapons development and bio-labs in Ukraine. Technical experts from the U.S. and Ukrainian delegations unambiguously explained their cooperation and U.S. assistance related to public health facilities, biosafety, biosecurity, and disease surveillance as part of the broader U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. The United States and Ukraine also highlighted how such activities are consistent with—and further support—the provisions of the BWC, particularly Article X, which promotes cooperation and assistance by States Parties. States Parties affirmed and supported the United States in this regard, with over 35 of the 42 countries that spoke noting the importance of such work.
The United States takes seriously its obligations under the BWC and therefore participated fully, transparently, and with integrity in the Article V process. The same cannot be said for the Russian delegation, who distributed a proposed “joint statement” to select delegations with its conclusions from the meeting before the United States and Ukraine even began our presentations.
The United States will continue to fulfill our obligations under the BWC, including by assisting partners around the world to strengthen global health security and reduce the impacts of infectious diseases on our societies, and we condemn Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaign to try to distract from—and justify—its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine.